November 2016 News

BSF Jawan Killed, 5 Injured In Shelling Along LoC

21 November 2016
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: Pakistan army today again resorted to heavy mortar shelling in several areas along Line of Control (LoC) in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in which a BSF jawan was killed and five others including four BSF personnel and a civilian were injured while administration again ordered closure of Government and private schools falling within shelling and firing range on the LoC. Indian side has given very effective response to Pakistan shelling and firing at forward places and inflicted heavy damage on the enemy side to silent enemy guns, which were targeting civilian locations on this side. Sources told the Excelsior that Pakistan army, which had shelled forward positions in Balakote and Manjakote sectors of Poonch and Rajouri districts respectively, resumed heavy shelling at Balakote, Mendhar, Mankote, Tarkundi and adjoining areas of Poonch sector at 8.25 am today and Manjakote and Nowshera sectors of Rajouri at 10.20 am prompting Indian side to respond appropriately. A BSF Head Constable, who was seriously injured in overnight Pakistani shelling at Manjakote in Rajouri sector, succumbed to his injuries this morning in the hospital. He has been identified as Rai Singh, a resident of Kheri Supala in Rohtak district of Haryana. BSF said he is survived by mother, wife and three sons. Four other jawans were injured in the shelling. All of them have been hospitalized and they were reportedly responding to the treatment. Army and BSF officials paid tributes to the martyr Rai Singh at Station Headquarters of BSF in Rajouri this afternoon. Later, his body was sent to his native town in Rohtak, where it will be cremated with full military honours. Three injured jawans have been hospitalized. During heavy shelling today, a civilian Abdul Aziz, 52, son of Dil Mohammad R-o Basooni, Dharana in Mendhar sector was injured this afternoon. He was evacuated from the site of firing and admitted in the hospital. Heavy shelling with 120mm and 82mm mortars and firing with automatic weapons was reported from Tarkundi, Balakote, Mendhar, Mankote and other parts of Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch district this morning. Forward villages of Nowshera sector including Kalsian, Kallal, Bajnowa, Baba Khori and surroundings and Naika Panjgrain and Manjakote, all in Rajouri district also witnessed heavy Pakistani shelling during the day. Troops from this side gave very effective response to Pakistan shelling in all the sectors inflicting heavy damages on the enemy troops. There were reports that Pakistan has suffered a number of casualties of their men and their several posts were destroyed in retaliatory action by the Indian troops. However, exact details of Pakistan casualties and damage were yet to pour in. Following heavy shelling overnight, administration this morning ordered closure of Government and private educational institutions falling along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts as pre-emptive measure and avert any casualties as Pakistan army continued to target civilian locations in Mendhar, Balakote, Mankote and Tarkundi in Poonch district, Manjakote and Nowshera sectors in Rajouri district almost throughout the day. Sources said the shelling was very intense in the morning but the intensity came down considerably in the afternoon. In Poonch sector, shelling and firing at all sectors stopped at 4.30 pm while it continued in Nowshera sector till late this evening. Panicked civilians in all forward sectors, hit by mortar shelling and firing, remained confined to their houses right from the morning and didn't venture out. So far, there had been no migration from the forward villages in Nowshera, Manjakote, Mendhar, Balakote, Mankote, Tarkundi etc as shelling continued throughout the day. The administration has kept several Government buildings ready in the safer areas to accommodate the people, if they migrate as shelling was very intense in almost all forward villages. Apart from Army posts, Pakistan was directly targeting civilian population to cause casualties among them but barring injury to one civilian in Mendhar, there were no civilian casualties in today's shelling and firing. Reports said that number of mortar shells landed inside populated villages and exploded close to the houses but fortunately, the people hiding inside had narrow escape. Few houses were damaged in the shelling. On Saturday morning, Pakistani army resorted to ceasefire violations in Nowshera sector and in the afternoon, they started firing in Sunderbani sector targeting Indian posts and civilian areas. On Thursday, Pakistani army had targeted Indian posts and civilian villages along the LoC in the Pallanwalla sector of Jammu district. On Tuesday, they also targeted Indian posts with heavy firing and shelling for four hours along the LoC in Rajouri, forcing Indian troops to retaliate. There have been over 290 incidents of firing and shelling along the LoC and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops. These incidents have resulted in the death of 26 people, including 14 security personnel, since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in PoK on September 29 in which 50 militants and Pakistan army personnel were killed. Six Pakistan army jawans were killed last week in Bhimber sector opposite Nowshera sector of Rajouri district. Sources said Pakistani troops were now deeply frustrated over the heavy casualties of their jawans and damage to their posts and were targeting civilian areas on the Indian side. Meanwhile, Pakistan today claimed that its four civilians were killed in a retaliatory firing by the Indian Army on the LoC.