Jammu/New Delhi: In one of the worst ceasefire violations by Pakistan, five villagers were killed in overnight heavy mortar shelling and firing from across the international border and Line of Control in Jammu and Poonch sectors even as two more violations took place since evening.
Pakistani troops indulged in heavy and unprovoked firing and shelling of mortars on 10 border outposts (BoPs) and civilian areas along international border (IB) in Arnia belt of Jammu district from 10 PM spilling over to this morning, a BSF spokesman said. As many as 34 people were also injured in this incident.
In a fresh ceasefire violation between 1540 hours and 1600 hours, Pakistani troops fired at a forward area along Line of Control (LoC) in Kerni belt of Poonch district, a defence spokesman said.
"They fired mortar bombs, automatic and small arms during the firing," the spokesman said. There was no loss of life or injury to any person in the firing and shelling.
At 2100 hours again, Pakistan resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing in Mankote sector of Poonch district, the spokesman said. There have been a dozen ceasefire violations along Indo-Pak border in J and K during the last four days.
The exchange of fire was on, he said, adding no casualty has been reported so far on the Indian side. BSF troops retaliated effectively and gave a befitting reply in the overnight ceasfire violation, the spokesman said.
In the shelling, five villagers were killed and 34 injured in several hamlets, SSP, Jammu, Uttam Chand told PTI.
In New Delhi, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley deplored the ceasefire violations from across the border and said the Indian armed forces were "fully ready" and are responding to each of these provocations from across the border.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "Pakistan should stop ceasefire violations now and understand the reality that times have changed in India."
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah strongly condemned the shelling on civilians, saying targeting them exposed the frustration of the Pakistani government after its failure to gain international attention on the Kashmir issue.
Omar attended cremation of those killed in Arnia and also visited the village which came under heavy Pakistani shelling the wee hours of today.
The Chief Minister said he will brief Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the situation in the wake of frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
A PTI correspondent, who visited some of the affected areas hit by the shelling, saw blood stained beds, torn off roof-tops and windows punctured by bullets besides splinters of mortar bombs lying scattered around.
There were some reports of people moving out of the affected areas, fearing fresh attacks.
The Pakistani troops also resorted to mortar shelling and firing on forward posts along LoC in Bhimber Gali belt of Poonch district since 0830 hours today, a Defence spokesman said.