Guns roar along LoC killing, injuring more than 20
6 civilians, 4 forces personnel killed; 4 more personnel, 8 civilians injured in fire from Pak side
A man, badly injured in cross LoC shelling in Uri sector is brought to a hospital in north Kasahmir while as a residential house, hit by a shell from Pakistan side, goes up in flames. PHOTOS/ Reyaz Rashid
Baramulla/Srinagar: Four security forces personnel were among 10 people killed in firing and shelling by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) from Gurez to Uri sectors of north Kashmir on Friday, officials said.
Srinagar-based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said Pakistan used mortars and other weapons and deliberately targeted civilian areas.
The troops retaliated strongly causing causalities and substantial damage to Pakistan Army’s infrastructure across the LoC, he said.
“Several ammunition dumps, FOL dumps and multiple terrorist launch pads have been damaged,” the defence spokesman said.
Three Army personnel, a BSF Sub-Inspector and six civilians were killed in Pakistani action while four security forces personnel and eight civilians were injured.
“Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation along the LoC spread across multiple sectors to include Dawar, Keran, Uri and Naugam. Three Indian Army soldiers have been killed in action and three soldiers injured,” Col Kalia said, adding the nation salutes their supreme sacrifice.
A BSF Sub-Inspector was killed in Haji Peer sector while a jawan was injured, officials said.
Four civilians were also killed while many more injured. Hospital sources identified the slain civilians as Farooqa Begum, wife of Bashir Ahmad Dar of Balkote village in Hajipeer sector; Tahir Ahmad Mir, son Jaleed Ahmad Mir of Sultandki; Irshad Ahmad, son Karamat Hussain Saraiebandi of Kamalkote sector, and Afrar Ahmad, son of Latieef Ahmad of Gawhalan.
The five injured persons who have been shifted to different hospitals have been identified as Nadir Hussain, son of Peer Hussain of Kamalkote Uri; Sajad Ahmad Khan of Balkote Saif-ud-Din Qureshi of Kamalkote, Sarfraz lateef, son of Latief Ahmed; and Hakam Bee of Choti Gohallan.
Among the injured Nadir Hussain, son of Peer Hussain of Kamalkote Uri was shifted to GMC Baramulla in critical condition wherefrom doctors referred him to a Srinagar hospital.
Three residential houses were also damaged in the fresh shelling and panic has gripped the frontier villages Churanda, Balkote, Silikote, Garktote, Kamalkote , Gowhlan,Hatlanga, Nambla of Uri.
Defence sources said apart from various places in Uri, the ceasefire violations were reported from Izmarg in Gurez sector of Bandipora district and Keran sector of Kupwara district.
A defence official in Jammu said Pakistani troops violated ceasefire twice in Poonch district.
“Around 1345 and 1445 hours today, Pakistani army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and shelling with mortars along LoC in sector in Sawjian in Poonch,” he said, adding Indian troops retaliated in a befitting manner.
Earlier, Col Kalia said the Army foiled an infiltration bid, which was aided by the ceasefire violation, along the LoC in the Keran sector.
“Suspicious movement was observed by our troops at the forward posts along the LoC in Keran sector (in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district) today. The suspected infiltration bid was foiled by alert troops,” he said, adding this was the second infiltration attempt within a week.
The earlier bid in Machil sector during the intervening night of November 7- 8 was foiled in which three militants were killed. Three Army soldiers, including a Captain, and a BSF personnel also lost their lives during the operation.
In New Delhi, BSF officials said SI Rakesh Doval, 39, deployed at the force’s artillery battery at the LoC in Baramulla was killed after he sustained head injury in the firing around 1315 hours.
Constable Vasu Raja sustained splinter injuries on his arms and cheeks. He was deployed at the same forward defended location, they said, adding the constable is stable.
Almost all BSF units along the LoC are facing heavy firing since morning and an effective retaliation by the troops, artillery regiment and support weapons has been mounted, a senior officer of the force said.
The BSF works under the operational command of the Army at the LoC.
“The Sub Inspector has made supreme sacrifice in line of duty while facing heavy ceasefire violation from the enemy. The sub-officer was a resident of Rishikesh in Uttarakhand and joined the border force in 2004,” the officer said.
Doval is survived by his father, wife and a nine-year-old daughter, he said. (With PTI inputs)