Panic grips civilians near LoC villages
JAMMU, Jan 13: An Army jawan was martyred while two others including a civilian were injured as Pakistani troops resorted to heavy firing on the Line of Control (LoC) in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district prompting retaliation by the Indian troops in which three Pakistani posts, which had been targeting forward posts of the Army, were decimated. There were reports that Pakistan suffered two to three casualties either fatal or non-fatal in retaliatory firing brought down by the Indian troops after the killing of a jawan.
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Only yesterday, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat had stated that Indian Army will destroy all Pakistani posts on the LoC, which aid and abet infiltration of the militants or target Indian forward posts and civilians during ceasefire violations.
Sources told the Excelsior that Pakistan army resorted to heavy unprovoked firing on the forward Indian positions in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district this afternoon in which an Army jawan was martyred. The Indian side retaliated effectively.
The martyr soldier has been identified as Lance Naik Yogesh Muralidhar Bhad-ane, 28, hailing from village Khalane in Dhule district of Maharashtra. Initi-ally, Bhadane was seriously injured in the firing and was evacuated from the spot and shifted to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
“Lance Naik Yogesh Muralidhar Bhadane was a brave and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” a Defence spokesman said. He is survived by his wife Punam Yogesh.
Soon after the martyrdom of Army jawan, the Indian Army retaliated effectively and destroyed three Pakistani posts, which were targeting forward positions of the troops on this side. Pakistan was also reported to have suffered two to three casualties, either fatal or non-fatal in retaliatory firing by the Indian side.
During past 20 days, seven Army and BSF jawans have attained martyrdom in Pakistan firing on the LoC and International Border. Four soldiers including a Major were martyred in Keri sector of Rajouri district on December 23 while another Army personnel was killed along the LoC in Rajouri district on December 31 last year.
Sepoy Jagsir Singh, 32, was killed when he was shot by Pakistani troops from across the border along the LoC in Rajouri district on the last day of 2017, the year which recorded the highest number of ceasefire violations in the past decade resulting in the death of 35 people, including 19 Army personnel and four BSF men.
A BSF jawan was martyred in Samba sector. A couple of soldiers have sustained injuries.
However, casualties and damage were very heavy on Pakistan side. Nearly 15 Pakistan army personnel have been eliminated while about a dozen others were injured in retaliatory action undertaken by the Indian troops. More than a dozen Pakistani posts and bunkers have been razed to ground in retaliation.
The BSF had also retaliated very effectively after one of its jawans was martyred in Samba sector few days back, killing and injuring a number of Pakistani Rangers.
Meanwhile, a 12-year-old boy was today critically injured when an unexploded bomb went off near the LoC in Shahpur sector of Poonch district this morning.
Mohammad Iqbal (12), son of Mohammad Rashid, a resident of Shahpur, found the bomb in an open field near Qasba village around 11:45 am and started fiddling with it, causing the explosion
“The boy suffered critical injuries with both his hands blown up. He was rushed to hospital and his condition is stated to be ‘critical’,” sources said, adding the mortar shell had been fired by Pakistani troops during ceasefire violation.
The bomb had remained unexploded and undetected, sources said, adding that the boy was playing in the field when he came across the bomb.
Injured boy has been admitted in the hospital in critical condition.
An Army jawan Pushkar Singh was injured in forward village of Malti in Poonch.
Sources said fresh tensions on the LoC have spread wave of fear and panic among the people living in villages located within shelling and firing range in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri.
The panic-stricken people were taking extreme precautions while venturing out of their houses as they feel that frustrated Pakistan army, which has suffered heavy losses at the hands of Indian troops, could target the civilians to inflict casualties and damages on them.
“We are frightened. Though Pakistan army has been targeting civilian areas not quite often as they did during second half of 2017, the people are panicky as they feel the Pakistani troops could open firing on civilians in frustration. Therefore, we demand construction of bunkers as early as possible,” they said.