SRINAGAR:Three civilians were injured when Pakistani troops violated ceasefire by resorting to unprovoked heavy shelling and firing from across the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir.
Official sources told UNI that Pakistani troops, violating the 2003 ceasefire, fired mortar shells and resorted to heavy firing on Friday morning, targeting forward posts and civilian areas in Tanghdar, Karnah sectors in Kupwara and Uri sector in Baramulla
They said Indian troops retaliated and the exchange of fire continued for over an hour. “Three civilians were injured in the ceasefire violation,” they said.
Pakistan opened another from in Uri sector in Baramulla, where troops from the other side of the LoC resorted to heavy shelling and firing, targeting forward posts and civilian areas. “Indian troops retaliated and the exchange of fire last for over an hour,” they said.
Expressing serious concern over the ceasefire violation, the villagers living in the border areas urged both the nations to deescalate tension at the LoC in view of COVID-19 pandemic. “During shelling at LoC we are forced to shift to bunkers where maintaining social distances in not possible? this makes us vulnerable to Coronavirus. We request both the nations to deescalate tension so that we can live in peace,” a border village resident told UNI.
Sources said Pakistani troops have been frequently violating ceasefire in J&K from last about a year in J&K. “The frequency has increase since March this year as the infiltration passages through which militants sneak into this side have opened with the melting of snow,” they said.
Three heavily armed militants were killed in two separate incidents last month immediately after they sneaked into this side at LoC in Kupwara.
A top Army commander last month said that the launchpads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) are fully occupied with about 300 militants, who are trying hard to infiltrate into this side of the LoC.
However, Major General Virendra Vats, GOC 19 Infantry Division, Baramulla, said that the anti-infiltration grid along the LoC is fully operational and alert troops are ready to foil any attempts by militants to crossover to his side.
“We have inputs that the launchpads in PoK are fully occupied. The number of militants present in these launchpads right now is between 250 and 300. They (militants) are trying hard to infiltrate into this side as they have about four summer months left before the passes will be closed due to snowfall,” Major General Vats said.
He said Pakistani troops have been frequently violating ceasefire by resorting to heavy shelling and firing to help the militants to infiltrate. “But, this tactic won’t work as our troops are on high alert to foil any infiltration bid,” he added. (AGENCIES)