BSF Jawan, Civilian Injured In Another Spell Of Heavy Firing

BSF Jawan, Civilian Injured In Another Spell Of Heavy Firing

17 September 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Pakistan Army has been resorting to heavy firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in almost all sectors in Poonch district since past midnight leading to injuries to two persons including a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan and a civilian and panic among the people living in all forward areas of the border district. Pakistan Army used heavy firearms like Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs), Medium Machine Guns (MMGs), Rocket Projectile Guns (RPGs), 82mm mortars and Automatic Grenade Launchers (AGLs) among others to target nearly 20 forward posts of the Army in Balakote, Mendhar, Sabjian and Digwar sectors of Poonch district. The firing that started around 1 am on the intervening night of September 16 and 17 raged on till late this afternoon when the reports last came in. This was 65th ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army on the LoC and International Border in Poonch, Rajouri and Jammu districts since August 6 when tensions between India and Pakistan had escalated after five Indian Army soldiers were killed by the Pakistani troops in Sarla battalion area at Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch district. Also, this was 18th ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army in the month of September and 96th during the year 2013. Official sources told the Excelsior that Pakistan Army opened up almost all sectors simultaneously in wee hours of this morning using heavy firearms in Balakote, Mendhar, Sabjian and Digwar sectors of Poonch. Firing at some of the places started around 1 am while at other places, it began between 2.30 am to 3.45 am. Till 10.30 am today, intensity of the firing was very high with Pakistan using HMGs, MMGs, RPGs, AGLs and other automatic weapons apart from firing 82mm mortars targeting forward Indian posts and civilian areas. A BSF jawan Mohammad Abu Siddiqi of 34 battalion was hit by the bullets while manning forward Noal post in Deri Dabsi area of Mendhar sector early this morning and was injured. He was evacuated from the site of firing and admitted in the Military Hospital in serious condition. Village Chowkidar Mohammad Taj, 25, son of Khadim Hussain, a resident of Dabsi, was hit by splinters of the mortars fired by the Pakistani Army inside his house this afternoon and suffered compound fracture on his left shoulder. He was admitted in Sub District Hospital (SDH) Mendhar from where he was referred to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu. Civil authorities provided Rs 5000 worth immediate ex-gratia relief to the Village Chowkidar for his treatment. Sources said several mortar shells exploded close to civilian population in Balakote and Mendhar sectors creating panic among the people living in forward areas. The people didn’t venture out of their houses in any forward areas during the day today in view of continued firing and shelling. Splinters of mortar shells and bullets hit several houses in which the civilians had narrow escape. Sources said the Indian Army and BSF retaliated from all forward positions in the areas targeted by the Pakistan Army jawans. “We retaliated effectively as it was necessitated to silence the Pakistan Army guns, which had been targeting our forward positions and civilian areas,” Army sources said, adding the firing from across the LoC stopped after retaliatory firing from this side. It was in the evening that firing completely ceased in Poonch district. However, the people in forward areas confined themselves to their houses anticipating resumption of firing at any time. With today’s injuries to a BSF jawan and a civilian, a total of 11 persons have been injured in Pakistan firing and shelling in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch since August 6 hostilities. Apart from 11 injuries, five Army soldiers and a BSF jawan have been killed in the firing. Pakistan Army has also suffered heavy losses in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops. Sources said the Pakistan Army has virtually rendered the ceasefire agreement redundant by resorting to frequent ceasefire violations especially along the LoC. There had been reports that under the cover of firing, Pakistan Army has been trying to push the infiltrators into the Indian side. However, alert Army troops have foiled the Pakistani attempts aimed at infiltrating the militants from the LoC.