A minor girl and another civilian were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri on Saturday, during shelling along the Line of Control by Pakistan, Indian forces said. Pakistani forces allegedly pelted 35 villages as well as several Indian Army outposts with mortar. Another nine people were injured. The areas of Nowshera, Qila Darhal and Manjakote were the worst affected, Hindustan Times reported.
The Army’s 48 Rashtriya Rifles retaliated and four of its officers are believed to be injured. The two deceased were identified as Haji Tufail Hussain, and his relative’s daughter Asiya Bi, who had come visiting his home. Hussain’s wife Zaitoon Begum is in critical condition, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, the deputy commissioner of Rajouri, said.
Residents of areas along the border were shifted to safer spots, officials said.
The shelling began at 7.15 am. Several houses and a school have been damaged, Choudhary said. A defence ministry spokesperson, Manish Mehta, said Indian forces were retaliating.
This is third ceasefire violation along the border in the past three days, the Army said. On May 10 and May 11, Pakistani troops resorted to mortar shelling and firing of automatic weapons on civilian areas near the LoC.
On Thursday, Islamabad had summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner after reports surfaced about the death of a Pakistani civilian in cross-border shelling along the Line of Control. Pakistan has claimed that the shelling was started by the Indian Army, while India has said that Pakistan had began firing on Wednesday night and that a woman was killed on the Indian side of the border. Both countries had held that they fired in retaliation.