Jammu-Kashmir: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Poonch

Barely hours before Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visit to Nowshera on Monday, Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling along the Line of Control in Shahpur area of Poonch district.

Apart from shelling, Indian troops also came under fire from automatic weapons and small arms, sources said, adding that firing began from across the border around 10.30 am. The Indian Army is retaliating and there has been no loss of life or property on the Indian side so far.

Rajnath Singh, who is on four-day visit of Jammu-Kashmir, is scheduled to reach Nowshera along the LoC in Rajouri district in the afternoon. He is expected to interact with people who had migrated from their native villages in the wake of Pakistani shelling across the LoC.

This was the third incident of ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the last three days. On Saturday, a civilian was injured in mortar shelling from across the border in Mendhar Sector. For the past couple of months, Pakistani troops have been regularly targeting forward Indian positions and civilian population on this side of the LoC.

On September 7, two porters were injured as Pakistani troops violated ceasefire in Poonch sector. The tension along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts has already led to suspension of cross-border travel and trade between people of Jammu-Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in the past two months.

Since May 1 this year, nearly a dozen people have been killed and many others were injured in unprovoked and indiscriminate mortar shelling and small arms fire at frequent intervals on the Indian side of the LoC by Pakistani troops in Rajouri and Poonch districts. The frequent skirmishes along the LoC, which are being attributed to Pakistan’s increasing desperation to push terrorists into India this summer, have already forced 3,000 people including women and children migrate from their houses near the border to safer places. Of them, over 1,000 are staying at camps set up by the district administration, while others are staying with their relatives.

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