Heavy damages in Indian retaliation
JAMMU, Mar 18: An Army soldier was martyred and four others were injured in heavy shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops on the Line of Control (LoC) in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district. The Indian side retaliated very effectively, leading to heavy exchanges and reports indicated heavy damages on Pakistan army.
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At about 5 am, Pakistani troops pounded forward posts of the Indian Army and civilian areas using long range mortars and heavy fire arms at Kattal Battal and surrounding villages on Pallanwalla-Sunderbani border along the LoC. Indian troops responded strongly.
Official sources told the Excelsior that exchange of shelling and firing between the two sides continued for about one and a half hours in which an Indian Army jawan was martyred and four jawans were injured. Troops evacuated the injured Army soldiers from the LoC and shifted them to Military Hospital, where they were responding to the treatment.
In effective retaliation from the Indian side, sources said, Pakistani troops suffered heavy losses. However, exact number of casualties or damages suffered by Pakistan couldn’t be ascertained immediately.
The Indian Army soldier, who attained martyrdom in the Pakistani shelling, has been identified as Rifleman Karamjeet Singh, 24, a resident of village Janer in Dharam Kot area of Moga district in Punjab. He had joined the services on June 28, 2015 and was unmarried.
He is survived by his mother, Kulwant Kour.
“Rifleman Karamjeet Singh was a brave and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for his supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” a Defence spokesman said.
Mortal remains of the martyr will be sent to his native village in Punjab with full military honours. Senior Army officers and soldiers paid rich tributes to the martyr at a wreath laying ceremony.
Late tonight, Pakistan army again resorted to heavy shelling and firing in Pallanwalla and Sunderbani sectors.
There was intense shelling in civilian areas at villages including Gigriyal, Badwal and Channi Diwani in Pallanwalla sector.
Indian Army retaliated effectively at all the places. There was no immediate report of any casualty or damage on the Indian side.
There were reports that at least three Pakistan army posts were damaged in retaliatory shelling by the Indian troops.
Ever since ‘Operation Balakote’ by the Indian Air Force in which number of Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were killed in Pakistan, the Pakistani troops have been resorting to unprovoked shelling and firing on the LoC, targeting civilian areas and defence locations. Four civilians were killed in Poonch district and over dozen others were injured in the shelling. Pakistan army was reported to have suffered heavy losses in retaliatory action by India.
Indian Army has been maintaining very high alert all along the LoC following inputs that under the cover of ceasefire violations, the Pakistani troops were trying to facilitate infiltration attempts by the militants.
“Pakistani troops have once again gathered militants close to the launch pads and were in search of an opportunity to facilitate their infiltration into the Indian territory. However, the troops haven’t allowed the Pakistani plot to succeed in view of high alertness on the LoC.
Following Pulwama terror attack on February 14 in which 44 CRPF personnel were martyred, Pakistan army had shifted all militants from launching pads close to the LoC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to Army camps and other safer locations in Pakistan anticipating strikes by the Indian Army.
On Sunday too, the Sunderbani sector was targeted by the Pakistan army in unprovoked ceasefire violation.
The year 2018 witnessed the highest number of ceasefire violations, numbering 2,936 by Pakistani troops, in the last 15 years along the Indo-Pak border.
Pakistan continues to violate the 2003 ceasefire agreement with India despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the pact during flag meetings between the two sides.