Jammu: A villager was injured as Pakistani Army violated the ceasefire four times overnight by pounding civilian hamlets and posts with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs along the IB and LoC in Jammu and Poonch districts, drawing retaliation from the Army and BSF.
This is the 10th consecutive day that Pakistan has violated the ceasefire. There have been 45 violations of the 2003 ceasefire accord in August and over 240 ceasefire violations along the Indo-Pak border this year.
"There was unprovoked firing of small arms and mortar bombs by Pakistan Rangers from 2200 hours last night on five Border Out Posts (BoPs) along the International Border (IB) in Arnia and R S Pura sectors intermittently", a BSF spokesman said on Tuesday.
The firing continued during the night in Arnia and RS Pura Sector intermittently, he said, adding that five BSF outposts in the area were targeted.
"Earlier, the fire was with smalls arms. Later, 82 mortar bombs were also fired by the Rangers. When left with no option, BSF troops retaliated the fire befittingly", the spokesman said.
"The firing and shelling continued till 0500 hours this morning. No loss of men and material has been reported so far from BSF", he said.
However, a civilian identified as 38-year-old Subhash Chander sustained a bullet injury on his foot at Sai Khurdin in Arnia sector. He is being treated at Government Sub-District Hospital in R S Pura, he said. PRO, Defence, Jammu, Col Manish Mehta said today that "Pakistan troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violations in Poonch sector and Balakote overnight and shelled forward posts and civilian areas with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs...There were unprovoked violations by the Pakistan army in Poonch sector using 82mm mortars from 0045 hours to 0330 hours. The ceasefire violation, which commenced in Balakot sector last evening at 1900 hours, continued till midnight using 120 mm mortar bombs"
"We retaliated at both places effectively. There was no casualty to our troops till last reports came in", he said.
On the intervening night of August 16-17, Pakistan troops had resorted to ceasefire violations in Saujiyan and Mandi sectors of Poonch district and shelled forward posts and civilian areas with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs and heavy machine guns (HMGs).
Pakistan troops had also shelled Balakote sector on Monday. On August 16, a woman was killed and five persons were injured as Pakistani troops fired 120 mm and 82 mm mortars bombs, HMGs and RPGs on border posts and civilian areas in Poonch and Rajouri districts.
The repeated ceasefire violations have claimed six lives in two days from August 15-16, drawing strong protests from India. There have been repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the over 110 kms long borderline in Poonch, Sujiyan, Balakote, Hamirpur, Mandi sectors in Poonch district and Manjakote sector in Rajouri district between August 15 and 16.
On Independence Day, five civilians, including a sarpanch were killed and five others injured in heavy firing and mortar bomb shelling by Pakistani troops at several Indian posts and civilian areas.
Last month, there were 19 ceasefire violations in which four persons, including three jawans, were killed and 14 others injured.