Sources claim 50 Indian posts were targeted in the 30th violation this year

A head constable of the Border Security Force (BSF) was killed and seven others, including a civilian, were injured as Pakistani troops from across the International Border continued intense small-arms firing and 82-mm mortar shelling of Jammu border areas on Tuesday night.

Inspector-General of Police, Jammu, Rajesh Kumar told The Hindu that firing was reported in several areas during the previous night — hours after Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde returned from a daylong visit of the affected areas in Jammu. Other sources said 50 Indian posts were targeted in Kathua, Arnia, R.S. Pora, Pargwal, Akhnoor and Ramgarh sectors during the night.

Mr. Kumar said BSF head constable Kumar Mena was killed and three jawans were injured when a mortar exploded close to Chenaz Post in the R.S. Pora sector. At least one civilian and three more BSF jawans were injured in an incident at Makwal.

All the seven injured were evacuated and admitted to hospitals for treatment. They were reportedly stable.

Sources said the firing started at 2330 hours on Tuesday and continued intermittently till 0400 hours on Wednesday. The security forces retaliated to the offensive effectively, said a BSF official. It was the 30th violation of the November 2003 ceasefire since the Pakistan Rangers and other forces initiated violations on the LoC and the IB earlier this year.

‘War no solution’

Addressing a public meeting at Tangdhar in Karnah sector of Kupwara, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah backtracked from his “tough option” plea and said war was no solution to the issues between India and Pakistan.

He said Islamabad had shown no seriousness to arrange for a DGMO meeting — the only outcome of the New York meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries last month. Instead, he said, hostility had intensified on the borders.

“No one in Jammu and Kashmir or in the country is in favour of war as wars are no solution to any issue,” he said, adding that friendship required equal response from both sides.