JAMMU, Feb 28: Three Pakistani troops were killed and two others were injured while three posts of the enemy were decimated as Indian Army today launched major offensive against Pakistan’s forward posts in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district, which were trying to hit civilian targets. There was no let-up in heavy shelling and firing, which continued in Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors of Rajouri and Khour sector of Pallanwalla in Jammu district for second consecutive day today.
Seventy two educational institutions were today ordered to be shut down by the district administration in border villages of Rajouri district falling within shelling and firing range of Pakistan army in Nowshera, Manjakote and Sunderbani sectors.
Sources told the Excelsior that the India Army launched major offensive against Pakistani troops in Sunderbani sector this morning to silence their guns, which were pounding forward posts of the Army and civilian areas. In the retaliatory action, three Pakistani troopers were killed and two others were injured while their three posts were destroyed.
“Mortar shelling and firing from Pakistan side stopped immediately after the Indian action,’’ sources said, adding that hectic activity was seen in Pakistani camp with ambulances ferrying dead and injured to hospitals.
However, there were no casualties or losses on the Indian side in Sunderbani sector, sources said, adding that number of mortar shells fell in civilian areas in which the local villagers had narrow escape.
Yesterday, two BSF jawans were injured in Balakote sector of Poonch district in Pakistan shelling
Pakistani troops also continued heavy shelling for second consecutive day in Nowshera and Khour sectors along the LoC, which was retaliated by the Indian side effectively at all the places, leading to exchanges.
The administration of Rajouri, a district worst hit by Pakistani shelling, today ordered closure of 72 educational institutions in three zones of the district, which falls with shelling and firing range, till March 5.
Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary told the Excelsior that apart from closure of educational institutions, the Middle standard examinations are also being postponed as number of examination centres fall within shelling range.
Choudhary said the administration was strictly monitoring situation all along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district and has already put Contingency Plan in place for help of the border dwellers.
Sources said there was panic among the villagers living along LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and parts of Pallanwalla and Khour in Jammu district in view of escalation or mortar shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops during past two days as the enemy was directly firing mortar shells in the civilian areas.
People in most of the areas along LoC didn’t venture out of their houses and remained confined inside as mortar shells were regularly landing in the villages in parts of Nowshera, Sunderbani and Pallanwalla-Khour sectors.
People said studies of the children have been badly affected this year especially in parts of Rajouri and Poonch districts due to regular shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops. Ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops have almost become a regular feature in LoC areas of Rajouri and Poonch during past 10 months. Majority of ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops were aimed at aiding and abetting infiltration attempts by the militants.
Yesterday, the Pakistan army shelled forward posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts, injuring two jawans of the Border Security Force at Balakote sector of Poonch district.
Ceasefire violations along the LoC and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir have left 21 people, including 12 security personnel, dead and more than 80 others, mostly civilians, injured this year.
Though no ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops was reported along the IB since January 22, intermittent shelling has taken place along the LoC.