Jammu, Jul 17: An Army jawan attained martyrdom while a minor girl died and two others sustained injuries as Pakistan today fired unprovoked and targeted forward posts and villages on the Line of Control in Poonch and Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.
“An Army jawan and a minor girl were today killed while four persons injured in firing and mortar shelling by the Pakistan Army along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts,” official spokesman here said.
He said that the Indian Army retaliated appropriately this triggering heavy exchange while the firing stopped at 1445 hours.
“The Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in Rajouri sector and Poonch district around 0730 hours. The Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively,” Defence spokesman here said.
He said that in the fire exchange, Naik Muddasar Ahmed was grievously injured when mortar shells landed on his bunker, the spokesman said, adding that he was evacuated to the MI room where he succumbed to injuries.
The 37-year-old jawan, who hailed from Duchoo village, is survived by his wife Shaheena Muddasar and two children.
“Ahmed was a brave and sincere soldier. He loved his job to the core,” the spokesman said adding that the the nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty.
Pakistan also shelled mortars on civilian areas in Balakote, Manjakote and Baroti belts, a police officer said.
In the firing and shelling, 6-year-old Saida Kouser, daughter of Mohammad Kafeel, resident of Behroti, Mohalla Dedyana died, he said.
Meanwhile police said that two civilians were also injured in shelling in Manjakote belt of Rajouri district and have been hospitalised.
A jawan was also injured, he said.
All schools in border of Manajote and Balakote belts are closed and people have been advised not to come out of their homes in view of the heavy shelling, they said.
Seven persons, including four jawans were killed, in ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir in July.
Meanwhile in view of heavy cross-border shelling in forward areas of Manjakote in district Rajouri at District Administration, a population of 4500-5000 in villages of Panjgrain, Rajdhani and Naika among others was affected.
“Two civilians were injured during shelling. One seriously injured Shah Begum, wife of Mohammad Sharief, resident of Panjgrain was admitted in district hospital Rajouri while other injured Sharief Ahmed was given first aid,” Dr Shahid Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner Rajouri said.
He said that closure of all schools close to the border have also been ordered while 120 students were held up in Government School at Panjgrain and on report of headmaster senior officers coordinated for their safe evacuation as shelling was reported of have affected nearby area.
Dr Choudhary also rushed to forward areas to oversee arrangements for likely evacuation and emergency response.
The schools closed for an indefinite period include Primary Schools Sharmabasti, Korapani, Nangal, Tadyalla, Chakwa, Trutta Dhara, Mahal Rajdhani, Kalvatra Mohalla, Lal Beig, Rependi, Kotedhar, Chakli; Middle Schools Naika, Kundinakkar, Paryali, Lambibari and High Schools Khorinar and Dhar.
District Administration has sounded alert and advised the residents to stay indoors and field officers have been deputed for coordination.
HS Ghambir Brahmna, HSS Kakora, HSS Manjakote, Panchayat Ghar and other locations have been notified as camps for likely evacuation while four ambulances were rushed to Ghambir, Panjgrain and Manjakote.
Joint teams of Health, Revenue, Animal Husbandry, Sheep Husbandry, Agriculture and other departments have also been deputed for loss assessment, damage report and providing required assistance.
Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh have expressed grief over the killing of Army jawan Naik Mudasir Ahmed, a resident of Tral, Pulwama.
He while expressing sympathies with the family of the martyred soldier said that the sacrifices rendered by the jawans would not go in waste and a befitting reply would be given to thwart the nefarious designs of the enemies of India.
J&K Pradesh Congress Committee has strongly condemned the continued cease fire violations and unprovoked Pak shelling on civilian areas in the State and demanded short term and long term safety measures for border area people.
In a joint statement PCC Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma and General Secretary Shabir Ahmed Khan said that Pakistan has again violated ceasefire and continuously shelling across LOC on civilian population in Balakot, Manjakote and other areas of Poonch and Rajouri District for the last three days in which an army jawan attained martyrdom and caused injuries to some civilians.
PCC leaders said that whatever measures were taken by the Govt. that are insufficient and it needs to take more steps to ensure fool proof security and safety of civilian population residing near to the border.
They demanded short term and long term safety measures for border area people which includes allotment of plots in safer zones and bunkers for them at appropriate places in borders areas.
They also demanded ex-gratia relief to the fire victims and best medical treatment to those who injured in the firing.