Pakistan on Monday resumed heavy mortar shelling targeting scores of Border Out Posts (BoPs) and civilian areas along International Border (IB) in Samba and Kathua districts, killing a BSF jawan.
“Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy mortar shelling on BoPs and civilian areas along IB in Samba and Kathua sectors around 2 PM today,” a senior BSF officer told PTI, as the fresh ceasefire violation by Pakistan triggered another round of heavy exchanges.
One BSF jawan was martyred in the shelling, he said, adding the force is also strongly retaliating back.
The deceased has been identified as Constable Davinder Kumar who was at Khora BoP post in Samba sector, a Police officer said.
Four jawans and a woman were killed in Pakistan shelling and firing during the last one week, officials said, adding, five Pakistani rangers and a girl were killed in retaliatory firing.
Kathua Deputy commissioner Kathua Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary said Pakistan has started shelling in all the border villages and that more than 5,000 people living in 57 villages on the Indian side are in danger.
“We are unable to launch rescue operations,” he added.
Earlier in the day it was small arms fire, now they are using heavy mortar shells, he said.
Chowdhary said the situation is very serious and that Pakistani shells have landed 3 to 4 km inside Indian territory.
After a day-long lull, Pakistani Rangers violated ceasefire again by targeting the border posts in Kathua and Samba sectors, drawing retaliation from BSF.
“Pakistani Rangers resorted to ceasefire violation and opened small arms firing in one post in Samba district and two areas in Kathua district late last night,” officials told PTI.
There was no firing by Pakistan Rangers from the night of January 3 till January 4 evening.
Residents of border villages continued to leave for safer areas in view of the latest round of ceasefire violations by Pakistan since New Year eve.
Over 3,500 people have migrated from border villages in Samba and Kathua districts.