National News

India reserves right to retaliate, Army tells Pakistan after soldier, girl are killed in J&K firing

The director general of military operations spoke to his Pakistani counterpart after exchange of fire between troops from both sides in multiple locations.

A soldier was killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Monday as Indian Army and Pakistani troops exchanged fire, ANI reported. The jawan was identified as Naik Muddasar Ahmed from the state’s Tral region. A six-year-old girl, identified as Sajida Kafeel, also lost her life in the crossfire in Balakote sector of Poonch district.

The Indian Army said Pakistan had violated the ceasefire on Monday morning along the Line of Control in Rajouri’s Manjakote and Bhimber Gali sectors and in Balakote sector in Poonch. A woman was injured in the crossfire at Manjakote.

“Pakistan, initiating the attack, resorted to unprovoked targeting of Indian positions on the LoC in Bhimber Gali sector of Jammu and Kashmir,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta said, according to IANS. “The indiscriminate firing using small arms, automatics and mortars that started from 7.30 am is still on.”

This comes a day after the Pakistan Army had claimed that four of its soldiers had drowned in a river in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after their vehicle was allegedly attacked by Indian troops, Dawn reported. The body of only one of its soldiers has been recovered so far, the Pakistan military’s Inter Services Public Relations said in a statement.

DGMOs talk

Meanwhile, the Indian Army said Director General of Military Operations Lieutenant General AK Bhatt had spoken to Pakistani DGMO Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza on Monday regarding frequent incidents of alleged ceasefire violations.

When Pakistan raised the issue of its soldiers allegedly killed by Indian troops, Bhatt said the Pakistani side had initiated the firing. The DGMO added that Indian troops had opened fire at “armed intruders” attempting to infiltrate from close proximity to Pakistani posts along the LoC.

“The DGMO made it implicit that the Indian Army reserved the right to retaliate appropriately to any incident of violation of ceasefire but is sincere in its efforts of maintaining peace and tranquility along the LoC, provided there was reciprocity,” the Army said in a statement.

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