Jawan martyred in heavy Pak shelling in Nowshera

Martyr Subash Thappa
Martyr Subash Thappa

Pak suffers extensive damage

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Oct 11: An Army soldier was martyred in Pakistan shelling and firing on the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district today while the LoC in Poonch district remained calm during the day after heavy firing yesterday.

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Reports said Pakistan started heavy shelling and firing on the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district at 5.50 am today. The Indian side retaliated effectively and heavy exchange of firing lasted one and a half hour in which an Army soldier was injured.
He was immediately evacuated to the Command Hospital in Udhampur where he attained martyrdom.
A Defence spokesman identified the martyred soldier as Naik Subash Thappa, 25, a resident of Panighata Road in Bagdogra area of Siliguri Tehsil in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.
He had eight years of service and is survived by his mother Padma Thapa.
Pakistan side was reported to have suffered heavy damages in retaliatory shelling by the Indian troops. However, exact losses sustained by the enemy troops couldn’t be ascertained immediately.
Yesterday, three Pakistan army personnel were killed and their ammunition dump was blasted at Chirikoot opposite Poonch sector when the Indian Army retaliated Pakistan shelling and firing on civilian locations in which two persons including a woman were injured.
Pakistan army has been repeatedly shelling the civilian areas along LoC in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in utter frustration since August 5 when the Central Government had scrapped special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the State into Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Pakistan army has suffered heavy losses, both in terms of fatal and non-fatal casualties of its jawans and infrastructural damages, in retaliation by the Indian troops.
Earlier on October 11, Pakistan violated the ceasefire by firing unprovoked in Degwar area of Poonch.
On October 3, Pakistan army violated the ceasefire and targeted the villages along the Line of Control and International Border in Poonch and Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Small arms firing also took place in Hiranagar sector of Kathua from across the International Border earlier.
Meanwhile, police today conducted search operation in the border belt between Punjab and Himachal Pradesh as a “general alertness” measure, a senior police officer said.
The search operation was conducted after an alert was issued in the border areas of both the States, officials said.
They added that the search operation was conducted along Pathankot-Himachal Pradesh border areas as a “general alertness” measure.
The place where the search operation was carried out is mostly forest area, the officials said, adding that there was nothing to worry about.
The officials said so far no drone sightings have been witnessed in Pathankot zone along the border line but vigil has been kept by police and the Border Security Force (BSF).
Meanwhile, India has raised with Pakistan the issue of targeting civilians during ceasefire violations along the Line of Control which has seen a spike since the repealing of special provisions of Article 370 in August, Army sources said today.
The issue was raised by the Army during the functional level talks held by the Directorate General of Military Operations with its Pakistani counterpart on October 1.
In July, there were 296 cases of ceasefire violations (CFVs), 307 in August and 292 in September, sources said. September also recorded 61 caliber escalation, implying usage of mortar and heavy ammunition.
In July 2018, the Army had recorded 13 cases of CFVs, followed by 44 in August and 102 in September. In 2017, there were 68 cases of CFVs in July, followed by 108 in August and 101 in September.
In September this year, of the 292 cases, the area north of Pir Panjal recorded 42 cases of cross-border firing, while the rest were reported in the south of the mountain ranges.
The ties between India and Pakistan have been severely strained since the repealing of the special provisions under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5.
Army sources also said that the July-September period of this year recorded only 24 cases of ‘terrorist-initiated incidents’ as against 114 and 31 in the corresponding periods of 2018 and 2017, respectively.
They claimed that 85 cases of pelting of stones, five incidents of civil protest and three instances of bandh were reported in the Valley in September.
Restrictions have been place in the Valley since August 5 and directions were given to relax it this week.