A Border Security Force head constable was martyr and an Assistant Sub Inspector was among the three injured as Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy mortar shelling along the International Border from Suchetgarh sector in R S Pura to Pargwal in Akhnoor sector, during the early hours of Monday morning.
Identifying the deceased head constable as Sushil Kumar of Pahova in Kurukshetra district of Haryana and the injured ASI as R D Puri, official sources said that the shelling was still ongoing. Two women were also injured in the Pakistani shelling in Akhnoor.
Identifying the injured women as Parkasho Devi of Gajanso and Krishna Devi of Treva, sources said that the BSF was retaliating at all the places. Over two dozen BSF posts were affected in a fresh spate of intense mortar shelling from across the border after a lull of two-three hours, sources said. The shelling is so intense that it is audible even in areas situated nearly 20 kms away from the International Border.
There were also reports of damage to civilian property and death of cattle, but the details have not been confirmed by officials. Largely, people have remained indoors, waiting for the shelling to stop.
Earlier on Sunday evening, after a lull of nearly 48 hours, Pakistani Rangers had violated ceasefire by resorting to two-three small bursts of fire between duty points at 6.20 pm. “No border petrol vehicle was targeted,” an official spokesperson had said.
Later at 9.45 pm, these were followed by the firing of a few 82 mm mortar shells in Korotana Khurd, Abdullian and Tube Well No. 5. However, there had been no damage on the Indian side. The Indian side retaliated and the exchange of mortar shelling had continued till midnight after Pakistani guns fell silent.
Significantly, the latest ceasefire by Pakistan has come more than 12 hours after Additional Director General of BSF Arun Kumar warned Pakistan that it will have to pay a heavy price if it tried to even touch any of its personnel.
In this context, he referred to the killing of seven Pakistani Rangers during a BSF retaliation to their sniper fire killing sepoy Gurnam Singh on Friday morning.
A day before his death, Gurnam had been instrumental in foiling an infiltration attempt by a group of terrorists from across the International Border into Bobiyan area of Hiranagar sector. One terrorist was also killed at that time.
Gurnam, who was admitted in intensive care unit of the Government Medical College Hospital at Jammu, succumbed to his injury. His body was taken to his native village Rath anand in R S Pura tehsil where his cremation will take place on Monday.