JAMMU, Apr 10: Army today confirmed that its two jawans attained martyrdom in heavy mortar shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops in Battal area of Khour, bordering Sunderbani sector in Rajouri district, last night. Exchange of shelling between the two sides lasted about two hours in which Pakistan was also reported to have suffered extensive damages.
Excelsior had today reported that two Army soldiers were reported to have attained martyrdom in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in Battal area of Khour, bordering Sunderbani, last evening.
A Defence spokesman said today that Pakistan army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from 5.15 pm in Sunderbani sector along the Line of Control (LoC) late last evening.
“Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively,” he said.
However, he added, in the exchange of fire, Rifleman Vinod Singh and Rifleman Jaki Sharma were grievously injured. They were evacuated from the site of shelling and firing and shifted to Hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries.
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Rifleman Vinod Singh, aged 24 years, belonged to village Danapur, Jourian in Akhnoor tehsil and is survived by his father, Ajit Singh while Rifleman Jaki Sharma, aged 30 years, belonged to village Sanhail in Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua district. He is survived by his wife, Rajni Devi.
“Rifleman Vinod Singh and Rifleman Jaki Sharma were brave and sincere soldiers. The nation will always remain indebted to the brave hearts for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” the Defence spokesman said.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has paid rich tribute to the two Army soldiers, who were killed in an incident of cross-border shelling in Sunderbani sector along the Line of Control (LoC).
The Chief Minister conveyed her sympathies to the bereaved families.
Sources said the Indian side retaliated Pakistan’s mortar shelling and firing very effectively and the exchanges lasted about two hours. In the cross-firing, Pakistan was also reported to have suffered extensive damages but the details were not available immediately.
“Pakistani troops too suffered heavy losses in retaliatory shelling and firing by the Indian Army,” sources pointed out.
There has been no let up in shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops on the LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and parts of Jammu district especially Khour and Pallanwalla, which were located, close to Sunderbani sector, for almost a year now, which has been causing enormous inconvenience to the people living in the border villages
On Wednesday, a man and his daughter were injured when the neighbouring country’s troops fired mortar bombs at forward posts and targeted civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector.
Last Tuesday, an Army jawan was killed while four others were injured as Pakistani troops fired mortar bombs at forward posts in Krishna Ghati sector along the LoC in Poonch district.
The death toll due to Pakistani shelling along the LoC this year has gone up to 29. The dead included 15 security personnel and five members of a family who lost their lives when a shell hit their house in Balakote sector of Poonch district on March 18.
Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire along the LoC and the International Border over 650 times this year.
Pakistan side was also reported to have suffered several casualties and infrastructural damages in retaliatory shelling and firing by the Indian side.