A BSF inspector and a five-year-old girl were killed and 20 persons were injured Monday as Pakistani troops persisted with heavy shelling of forward areas along the Line of Control in Poonch district, prompting Indian Army to give them a “befitting reply”, said officials.
Six village houses too bore the brunt of shelling and suffered severe damages, they added.
“The Indian Army is retaliating,” a Defence spokesperson said.
Five personnel of BSF’s 168 battalion, including Inspector T Alex Lalminlun, were injured as shells landed at a forward post in Poonch sector Monday as Pakistan continued to violate cease fire for the fourth consecutive day in the Poonch and Rajouri districts.
The BSF inspector later succumbed to his injuries while the other injured BSF personnel were hospitalised, the officials said.
The injured soldiers are out of danger, they added.
Sobia, 5, was killed and two persons were injured when a shell exploded near their house in a village in Shahpur sub-sector along the LoC late Monday afternoon, they said.
Elsewhere, 10 civilians, including two women, were injured in the shelling by Pakistan, they said, adding an Army jawan too suffered injuries in Krishnagati sector.
The injured have been hospitalised, they said.
The villages in forward areas along the LoC which were targeted by Pakistan included Dhokri, Banwat, Bandi Chechian, Qasba, Digwar, Guntarian, Shahpur, Mankote, Gulpur and Kerni Krishnagati, they said.
Pakistan has been using heavy weaponry and 120 mm mortar bombs to target civilian areas along LoC in Poonch, triggering panic among villagers, they said.
The firing and shelling by Pakistan army is still going on intensely in Krishnagati, Kerni, Mankote, Gulpur, Degwar Shahpur and Poonch sub-sectors when the reports last came in from the area, he added.
A defence spokesperson said Pakistan violated the ceasefire 7.40 am onward with mortar shelling and small arm firings along the LoC in Shahpur, Mankote, Krishnagati and Kerni sectors of Poonch district.
Some villagers bearing the brunt of shelling said some cattle too were injured in the shelling.
Amid the ongoing shelling by Pakistan, the people have been advised to stay indoors, the officials said, adding schools too in the shelling-hit areas have been closed down.
A total of nine persons, including four soldiers have been killed and over 40 others injured in Rajouri and Poonch districts since India’s air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 in response to the February 14 Pulwama terror strike which had left 40 CRPF personnel dead. PTI