A Border Security Force officer and four civilians were killed early on Friday during suspected firing by Pakistan along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir’s RS Pura sector, the Hindustan Times reported. Twelve people were injured, according to Kashmir Life.
The firing and unprovoked mortar shelling started at about 4 am, an unidentified BSF official said, adding that the firing had now stopped. Several homes were damaged and a few animals died. This alleged ceasefire violation comes a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state.
The deceased officer was identified as 27-year-old Sita Ram Upadhyay, a constable of the 192 battalion.
Two civilians – Tarsem Lal and his wife Manjeet Kour –were killed when a mortar exploded in their house in Chandu Chak village in RS Pura sector, reported Hindustan Times. Two other civilians, who were injured in shelling in Trewa village in Arnia sub-sector, died at a government hospital in Jammu. An unidentified police officer identified one of them as Satpaul. The identity of the other person has not been confirmed yet.
Some of the injured civilians are Farooq Din of Jora Farm, Pyara Ram of Shamka village, and Raman Kumar Gupta and Harbans Lal of Trewa village in Arnia. Gupta is reportedly in a critical condition.
“Firing in Heeranagar area was on during the intervening night of May 16 and 17 in which one BSF trooper was injured,” the official told PTI. “Yesterday, during the daytime, it stopped but Pakistan resumed firing last night in the Arnia sector which claimed the life of a jawan early today.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan claimed that four civilians were killed in shelling by Indian forces on Friday. Ten people were injured by the “unprovoked ceasefire violations across the Working Boundary by India”, the Inter-Services Public Relations added. The ceasefire violations took place in Pukhlian, Cahprar, Harpal, Charwah and Shakargarh sectors, Dawn quoted the Pakistan’s Foreign Office as saying.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted that continued firing on the border was a cause of “pain and worry”. “Sad that while our country took the lead in starting peace initiatives with cessation of operations during Ramzan, Pakistan has shown no respect whatsoever for this holy month.”
On Monday a BSF personnel was killed in firing in Samba district along the International Border after the Pakistan Army allegedly violated the ceasefire. At least 33 people, including 17 security personnel, have been killed this year in more than 700 alleged incidents of shelling by Pakistan.