Two soldiers martyred on LoC

Srinagar/Jammu, Jul 18: Two Indian Army jawans were killed and another was injured as Pakistani troops pounded several places, including civilian areas, in Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC) today, officials said.
Terrorists also made a bid to infiltrate into Kashmir from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) via the Gurez sector which was foiled by the Indian troops who killed one of the infiltrators, the officials said.
The Pakistani troops targeted several areas of Rajouri, Poonch and Kupwara districts of J&K along the LoC, they said, adding that the Indian troops retaliated.
The Pakistani shelling also put lives of hundreds of school students at risk in Rajouri district.
The authorities rescued 217 students who were trapped in three schools in Kadali and Seha areas of Rajouri near the LoC, according to Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.
An Army Sepoy Jaspreet Singh was killed in the Pakistani shelling in Naushera sector in Rajouri district, a defence spokesman said.
The 24-year-old jawan hailed from Talwandi in Moga district of Punjab and leaves behind his parents, he added.
“Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in Naushera sector in Rajouri at around 1350 hours today. Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively,” the defence spokesman said.
In the exchange of fire, Sepoy Jaspreet Singh was grievously injured and succumbed to his injuries, he said.
“The nation will always remain indebted to him for this supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” he said.
Earlier today, Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from 0645 hours in Bhimbher Gali (Rajouri) and Poonch sectors along the LoC, the spokesman said.
According to reports, one jawan suffered minor splinter injuries in the exchange of the fire in the Bhimbher Gali sector.
The Pakistani firing killed another Army jawan in the Nowgam sector of Kashmir valley, an army official said.
Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on the forward positions along the LoC in Naugam sector, killing the Indian soldier, an army official said.
He said troops guarding the LoC fired in retaliation to silence the Pakistani guns and an exchange of firing between the two sides was continuing when the last reports were received.
It was not immediately known of the Pakistani side suffered any retaliatory action, the official said.
This was the third major ceasefire violation by Pakistan in north Kashmir during the past week.
On July 12, two soldiers – Lance Naik Ranjit Singh and Rifleman Satish Bhagat – were killed when they were targeted by Pakistani troops while manning forward posts in Keran sector of Kupwara district.
Another jawan was injured when Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing in Kamalkote area of Uri sector in Baramulla district yesterday.
There were several ceasefire violations by the Pakistan army during the day. Civilian areas and Indian positions along the LOC were targetted by the Pakistani army which fired mortar shells in various sectors in the Rajouri and Poonch districts, prompting the Indian Army to retaliate.
India had yesterday told Pakistan that it reserves the right to retaliate appropriately against any incident of ceasefire violation along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Pakistani Army also targeted civilian areas and Indian army posts along the LoC in Bhimbher Gali and Balakote sectors of Rajouri district as well as the Poonch sector triggering fear among residents.
According to the defence spokesman, the Pakistan army initiated unprovoked firing from 0645 hours in Bhimbher Gali (Rajouri) and Poonch sectors.
As per reports one jawan suffered minor splinter injuries in the exchange of the fire in the Bhimber Gali sector.
Amidst the Pakistani shelling, the authorities rescued students from various government schools along the LoC in Rajouri district.
The students were ferried in bullet-proof vehicles, Choudhary said.
Meanwhile in a major rescue operation launched by the District Administration and Police, 217 students and around 15 teachers were rescued from three schools in the wake of heavy mortar shelling along LoC in Nowshera sub-division.
The students of three schools were trapped for more than 6 hours amid heavy shelling in the area, police here said.
They said that in Middle School Kaladi 12 trapped students were evacuated while after hectic efforts in a prolonged rescue operation 150 students held up at Govt High School Bhawani were shifted to Nowshera.
Likewise 55 students and teachers of Govt High School Sair were rescued amid heavy shelling and Sair school was badly damaged due to shelling.
A team of district administration led by Deputy Commissioner Rajouri Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary along with SSP Yougal Manhas rushed to Bhawani and launched the rescue operation in which more than 250 people mostly students were rescued.
The team of officers came under heavy shelling in Bahwani and had a narrow escape as shells landed few meters away from the school.
Likewise 55 students and teachers had a narrow escape as the building came under direct hit of shells damaging its larger portion while classroom remained unaffected.
“Following heavy shelling in the area, all schools in Nowshera and Manjakote sector have been closed till further orders,” said the Deputy Commissioner.
He said that more than 150 students have been shifted to camps while other students were handed over to parents.
Dr Choudhary said that forward villages including Kalsian, Sair, Bahwani, Namb and Jhangar came under heavy shelling in interior inhabited area.
Five bullet proof vehicles and three buses were deputed for rescue.
Pakistani Army in the morning violated the ceasefire agreement and fired indiscriminately on forward Indian posts on the Line of Control in Poonch and Rajouri district.
“Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from 0645 hours in BG and Poonch sector along the Line of Control,” said the spokesman.
Yesterday also, the Pakistan Army had resorted to firing on Indian Army posts in Rajouri, Poonch and Baramulla districts, officials said.
In the exchange of fire, Naik Muddasar Ahmed was killed when mortar shells landed on his bunker. Ahmed, who hailed from Duchoo village, is survived by his wife Shaheena Muddasar and two children.
Pakistan had shelled mortars on civilian areas yesterday also in which nine-year-old Sajada Kouser was killed at Baroti, officials said adding that two other civilians and a jawan were also injured in Rajouri.
There were over a dozen of ceasefire violation by Pak army along LoC in J&K in which seven people including four jawans were killed and 12 injured in the month of July this year.