Pakistan intensified firing at Indian military posts and villages along the Line of Control or LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts Sunday morning, violating the ceasefire. A teenage girl and a soldier were injured in Poonch. The Indian Army said it was responding appropriately. Pakistan used “small arms, automatics, mortars and missiles” in the unprovoked firing, it said.
It was the second time in three days that the Pakistani Army has targeted Poonch, using automatic weapons and mortars. They targeted military and civilian facilities in nearly a dozen areas of the Balakote sector last week.
Those killed were identified as Captain Kapil Kundu, 22, Rifleman Ramavatar, 28, Rifleman Subham Singh, 22 and Havilder Roshan Lal, 42.
Indian forces say there have been over 130 instances of ceasefire violations by Pakistan last month, the highest since 2014.
At least 14 people including eight civilians and six security personnel had been killed in Pakistan firing in the Jammu region between January 18 and 22. More than 60 people were injured and dozens of homes were damaged and burnt down in the firing.
More than 300 schools situated close to the Line of Control and the international border in Rajouri, Poonch, Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts were closed for a week between January 21 and 28, for the security of villagers. Hundreds have abandoned their homes close to the border, leaving behind cattle and crops.
Speaking at an election rally in Agartala, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, India wanted peaceful relations with Pakistan, but the country’s forces have been told that if one bullet comes from across the border, the security personnel should fire countless bullets to retaliate. “I have given standing orders to our forces to shoot limitless bullets to retaliate a single fire on our territory by the Pakistani forces,” Mr Singh said.