No let up in Pak shelling
JAMMU, Oct 22: An Army officer was martyred in a gunfight with militants who had sneaked into Indian territory taking cover of firing from the Pakistani side on the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district while two civilians were injured in cross-border shelling on villages in Poonch district today
Giving details of the Rajouri incident, sources said that a patrol team saw “suspicious movement” near the forward area along the LoC in Kalal belt of Nowshera sector and engaged with the militants.
In the ensuing gunfight, a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of the Army was critically injured and later succumbed to his injuries, he said, adding that Pakistani troops also fired at the Indian side in the sector.
The gunfight continued till reports last came in from the area, the officer said.
The martyr has been identified as Naib Subedar Valte Sunil Ravsaheb.
“Today, a JCO was martyred in Nowshera sector,” a Defence spokesman said in a brief statement following the fresh ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the LoC in Rajouri district.
Body of the martyr was evacuated from the site of firing and shifted to hospital. It will be sent to native town of the martyr tomorrow morning with full military honours.
In view of darkness, it couldn’t be ascertained immediately as to whether the militants managed to escape or were still holed-up in the area. Security forces continued search operations and were already maintaining high alert on the LoC in view of repeated ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts by Pakistan army.
Earlier in the day, two civilians, including a woman, were injured in heavy Pakistan shelling along the LoC in Poonch district, officials said.
Mortar shelling from across the border started around 1.20 pm, prompting strong retaliation from Indian Army, the officials said.
One of the seriously injured has been identified as Phool Jan, 60, wife of Kala Khan R/o Gohlad. She was referred to District Hospital Rajouri. Another injured was discharged after first-aid.
Army also destroyed three live mortar shells on the LoC in Mendhar and Balakote sectors of Poonch district today.
The latest cross-border firing came two days after the Indian Army, in a major counter-offensive in retaliation to Pakistan’s unprovoked action, carried out heavy artillery strikes targeting four terror launch pads and several Pakistani military positions in Neelam Valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), killing six to 10 of their soldiers and nearly 20 militants.
The Defence spokesman said the shelling in Balakote sector in Poonch ended around 2 pm.
People in the shelling-hit villages rushed to the safety in their homes and underground bunkers, while the children in some schools falling within the range were escorted to safety by Army and police personnel, the officials said.