Special Correspondent
Jammu, Jan 19: An Army jawan attained martyrdom as Pakistan fired unprovoked heavily along the Line of Control in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district thus taking the toll to four including two civilians while more than 100 cattle died and 50 people suffered injuries.
“Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of Small arms, automatics and mortars from 1330 hours in Sunderbani sector along the Line of Control (LC),” defence spokesman here said.
He said that Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively.
The spokesman said that in the exchange of fire, Lance Naik Sam Abraham was grievously injured and succumbed to his injuries.
Lance Naik Sam Abraham, 34, Village Poonakam, District Allepey, Kerala and is survived by wife Anu Mathew and one year and 10 months old daughter.
Lance Naik Sam Abraham was a brave and sincere soldier and the nation will always remain indebted to him for his supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty, said the spokesman.
Earlier in the day, a BSF jawan injured in Pakistani firing on Friday succumbed while 14 others including two BSF personnel got injured as Pakistan heavily shelled forward Border Outposts and villages along International Border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts.
One BSF jawan deployed at Chelariayn post in Ramgarh namely Head Constable Jagvir Singh, who got injured and was rushed to the district hospital, have succumbed official sources here said.
They said that two more BSF personnel got injured at Mallu Chak and Nanga Post in Ramgarh.
Meanwhile Pakistan has also started unprovoked firing on the Line of Control in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district.
“Pakistan in the afternoon started firing unprovoked heavily in Jhangar sector on LoC in Nowshera,” an official here said.
He said that own troops are actively and befittingly responding to the firing.
“Alert was already sounded along the border while schools in this area have also been closed as preventive measure,” they said.
Pakistan on Friday shelled forward villages and Border Outposts in three bordering districts of Jammu region in which two civilians had died and BSF personnel got martyred and 14 got injured, an official here said.
“Pakistan early morning fired heavily in Arnia, R S Pura sectors of Jammu and also targeted villages in Ramgarh sector of Samba and Hiranagar sector of Kathua,” an official here said.
“Exchange of fire is still,” said an official.
He said that BSF troops are befittingly replying to the cross border firing.
The deceased were identified as Bachno Devi,50, wife of Jeet Raj, resident of Saikhurd, Arnia and Sahil, 25, son of Krishan Lal, resident of Kortana RS Pura.
Some of the injured were namely Jeet Raj 55, son of Dharam Chand of Saikhurd, his son Ravi Kumar and Krsihan Lal, 50, son of Ujagar Singh of Kottana, R S Pura are hospitalised, Nanak Raj, 52, son of Datt Ram, resident of Mahah Shah, Ranjeet Singh,35, son of Devi Raj, resident of Khokharey Chak, Ramgarh, Samba.
An official said that five civilians including a minor girl also got injured in cross border firing in Kathua district.
“The schools have been shut in the bordering districts till further orders while government buildings have been identified as shelters to accommodate people shifting from their native places,” he said.
Late in the evening Pakistan also resorted to heavy unprovoked firing in Pallanwala, Chamb, Kanhachak sectors of Jammu.
The Pakistani Rangers fired mortars, automatics and 120 mm shells in the bordering villages, which triggered panic among the residents.
A BSF soldier and a lady had died on Thursday in Pak firing in Arnia sector.
DG BSF K K Sharma in Jammu on Thursday had said that situation is tense and war like along border, LC and commanders on ground have been asked to give a strong reply to the Pak firing.
Meanwhile Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has expressed grief and anguish over the killing of three persons during the cross border shelling in the R S Pura, Suchetgarh and Arnia sectors.
The Chief Minister said that it is very unfortunate that the people of border areas in the State continue to bear the brunt of cross border fire power.
She said today’s incidents of shelling are a proof of her assertion that the people of the State are the worst victims of acrimony between the two neighbouring countries while appealing for cessation of hostilities on the borders.
Mufti has directed the Jammu divisional administration to ensure specialized treatment to the people injured in the shelling.
She has also directed the respective Deputy Commissioners to organise camps for the affected people at safe locations and ensure that all basic amenities are provided to them.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh visited to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) to enquire about the condition of people injured in cross-border firing last night in RS Pura, Suchetgarh and Arnia sector of Jammu region.
He enquired about the condition of the injured and medical facilities provided to them.
He was briefed by a team of doctors, led by Principal, GMC, Dr. Sunanda Raina, Medical Superintendent about the treatment being provided to the patients.
Dr Singh directed the concerned officials to ensure best medicare to the injured
While interacting with the injured patients and their attendants, Dy CM assured them that best medical facilities would be provided to them.
He also expressed grief and anguish over the killing of three persons during border shelling.
The Deputy Chief Minister expressed anguish over firing and shelling from across the LoC and International Border and called for ending the hostilities.
He said the brunt of border skirmishes is being faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially those living in forward areas.
Deputy Chief Minister expressed solidarity with the bereaved family and prayed for peace to the departed soul and said that those who succumbed to the injuries during cross border firing are Martyrs.
He also prayed for early recovery to the injured persons.
Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Sham, Lal Choudhary today visited R S Pura to take stock of the arrangements put in place at the relief camps established at several places in R S Pura for people affected in cross border firing in R S Pura and Suchetgarh sectors.
Interacting with shelling affected people of the area putting up at several relief camps in R S Pura, Sham Choudhary expressed solidarity assuring that the Government would extend every possible support to them for their safe and secure stay.
Chairing a meeting of officers of Police and Civil administration to get first hand appraisal of measures being put in place to provide necessary help to affected people, the Minister directed the concerned officers to remain available in the camps to attend the peoples’ problems.
Directing the concerned to ensure availability of adequate rations and other essentials in these camps so that people do not face any inconvenience on this account, Sham Choudhary also asked the concerned for conducting survey of damages caused to immovable property and crops.
Sham Choudhary directed the concerned for equipping the ambulance with required equipments and making available necessary life saving drugs at the camps.
Appreciating the prompt action taken up by the administration in providing immediate relief to the firing victims in this situation, the Minister asked the concerned to work with coordination to effectively deal with the situation.
Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat also visited Government Medical College Hospital to enquire about the health of injured victims of cross-border firing in R S Pura, Suchetgarh, Arnia, Samba, Hiranagar and adjoining areas.
During his visit to emergency wards in GMC&H, Bali Bhagat interacted with the injured persons and their attendants. He enquired about the treatment being provided by the concerned doctors to the firing victims.
Pertinently, 19 persons were injured in cross border firing and admitted to GMC Hospital Jammu while three succumbed to their injuries.
The Minister expressed solidarity with the bereaved family and prayed for peace to the departed souls.
Senior Congress leaders strongly condemned Pakistan for heavy shelling in R S Pura-Arnia sector and several other border areas of the State and paid rich tributes to martyred Jawans in the firing.
In a joint statement, the Congress leaders Sham Lal Sharma (Senior Vice President PCC), Raman Bhalla (Vice President), Ravinder Sharma (Chief Spokesperson) Manjit Singh, Vikram Malhotra, Manmohan Singh and Namrata Sharma (General Secretaries) G L Chalotra, Prof Gharu Ram, Shashi Sharma and Sobha Singh have strongly condemned fresh heavy shelling by the Pakistan since yesterday in various parts of R S Pura and Arnia sector resulting into BSF Jawan attained martyrdom and death of two civilians besides injuries to several others.
Expressing concern over the escalation in tension on the borders and Loc, senior Congress leaders lashed out at Pakistan for resorting to frequent ceasefire violation and targeting civilian population, which they said intolerable and needs a befitting response from Govt Of India.
They regretted that the present Govt has failed to contain Pak designs and to ensure security and safety of border residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
Congress leaders asked the authorities to ensure the safety of border residents and make all contingency arrangements to deal with the situations.
Describing the unabated cross border firing in Jammu Division as an outcome of wrong Foreign policy on the part of Narinder Modi Govt at Centre, the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President G A Mir has expressed deep sorrow over the loss of lives due exchange of heavy firing on LOC, as a result, many precious lives were lost, besides leaving border residents homeless.
Mir also hit out at Centre Govt for its weak Foreign Policy, resulting in escalation of tensions on Borders causing heavy damages to life and properties.