India warns Pak of dire consequences
Heavy artillery fire in civilian areas
JAMMU, Mar 6: As Pakistan further aggravated tension on the Line of Control (LoC) pounding civilian areas with artillery fire and long range mortar shells in Nowshera, Sunderbani, Pallanwalla, Krishna Ghati and Mendhar sectors in Rajouri, Poonch and Jammu districts, the Ministry of Defence issued a hard hitting statement warning Pakistan of dire consequences for any further provocation or misadventure.
“It was a war-like situation in Nowshera, Sunderbani and Mendhar sectors,” residents said, adding several artillery and long range mortar shells were landing in civilian areas since early this morning and there had been no let-up till this evening. They added that they remained confined to the houses or bunkers throughout the day. Click here to watch video
With Pakistan army frequently using artillery fire in civilian areas during the day today, the Ministry of Defence this evening came out with a strong worded statement declaring that any further provocation of misadventure by Pakistan will be responded in a befitting manner.
Warning Pakistan of dire consequences, the written statement said: “We are maintaining strict vigil along the Line of Control and International Border and any further provocation will get massive response”.
The MoD statement maintained that all actions taken by the Indian defence forces are targeted towards counter-terrorism and terrorist infrastructure, away from civilian areas, to avoid civilian casualties.
“We would reiterate that as a professional Army, we are committed to avoid civilian casualties especially along the Line of Control,” the statement said.
It added that during the last 24 hours, the Pakistan army resorted to intense and unprovoked firing with heavy caliber weapons in selected areas of Krishna Ghati and Sunderbani sectors, targeting Indian posts and civilian areas with mortar bombs and heavy artillery guns.
“It was retaliated by the Indian Army. There have been no casualties on the Indian side,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, there was no let up in heavy mortar shelling and firing including use of 155 mm artillery guns by Pakistan army on the LoC in Nowshera, Sunderbani, Mendhar and Krishna Ghati sectors in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and Pallanwalla sector in Akhnoor tehsil of Jammu.
However, according to sources, intensity of firing and shelling was very low in Pallanwalla sector as compared to the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts.
Pakistani troops started targeting forward defence posts and civilian areas in Mendhar and parts of Krishna Ghati sectors including Kasba, Mankote, Degwar and Khari Karmara villages and then subsequently extended shelling and firing to majority of forward villages in Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors of Rajouri district.
Sources said there was panic among the border dwellers of all four major sectors in Rajouri and Poonch districts, which were pounded by Pakistan army with artillery fire and long range mortar shells. Mortar shells and artillery fires landed deep inside the civilian areas, causing damage to several houses but there was no report of any casualty on the Indian side till late tonight.
People in shelling-hit forward villages of the two border districts remained confined to their houses and bunkers and didn’t venture out in view of almost regular shelling barring lull of an hour or so.
However, in some of the forward villages, the people migrated to safer zones including houses of their relatives.
Indian Army retaliated Pakistan’s shelling and firing very effectively and strongly at all the places to silence the enemy guns.
Pakistan army has regularly been targeting Indian civilians in Poonch and Rajouri districts in frustration after Indian Air Force destroyed Jaish terror camp in Balakote. Four civilians including three members of a family have been killed and over a dozen others injured in Pakistan shelling and firing in Poonch district.
Pakistan army has suffered heavy losses in retaliation by the Indian troops, sources said.