Pakistani troops allegedly violated ceasefire by firing mortar shells and small arms at forward posts and villages along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Akhnoor and Poonch sectors on Monday, PTI reported. However, there were no casualties, the agency reported quoting officials.
Defence Ministry Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand said the ceasefire violation from across the border in Akhnoor sector started around 3 am on Monday and ended around 6.30 am, The Indian Express reported. The Indian Army “retaliated strongly and effectively”, he said.
Pakistan also allegedly violated ceasefire in Poonch sector with small arms firing and mortar shells around 5.30 pm, PTI reported quoting a defence officer. This, too, was effectively countered by the Indian Army, he added.
The firing came after a two-day lull in the cross-border skirmishes. Firing across the Line of Control had stopped on Friday night, barring a two-hour cross-border firing in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district on Saturday afternoon, according to the Greater Kashmir. At least three civilians were killed in cross-border firing in Poonch district on Friday.
Army chief General Bipin Rawat visited Jammu-based White Knight Corps on Saturday and reviewed the preparedness of the forces in view of the current situation along the Line of Control and the International Border. Rawat visited forward locations of Samba and Ratnuchak along the border in Jammu region again on Sunday.
Firing across the border had escalated amid tensions between India and Pakistan. Islamabad on Friday night released Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured when the MiG-21 jet he was flying was brought down by Pakistani aircraft inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Wednesday. The aircraft was taken down during a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani planes, the first such aerial skirmish since 1971.