New Delhi: An Indian Army officer and at least three other soldiers were killed in a sudden escalation of cross-border firing on the Line of Control’s Bhimber Gali sector. The BG area that is near Rajouri is a particularly volatile area.
For the first time, the Indian Army has also said that the firing was not limited only to small arms or mortars but also to missiles. The nature of the missiles were not specified. But they are likely to have been anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) used in a bunker-busting role.
An army source said the “unprovoked and indiscriminate firing” began around 3pm on Sunday. Indian troops deployed at the LoC returned fire with similar caliber weapons.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, speaking at an election rally in Agartala, said, “I have given standing orders to our forces to shoot limitless bullets to retaliate a single fire on our territory by the Pakistani forces.”
Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, Shahid Chouhdary told Express that Pakistani troops resorted to firing and mortar shelling along the entire stretch of LoC in the Rajouri district.
Shahid said intermittent cross-LoC firing was on when reports last poured in. Sources said two BSF men including an Assistant Sub Inspector and two civilians were also injured in the Pakistani firing and mortar shelling. The injured have been hospitalised.
The defence spokesman said the killings won’t go in vain. “The unprovoked action by Pakistani Army will be given a befitting response,” he said.
Earlier in the day, two teenagers and a jawan were injured in Shahpur sector of Poonch district in shelling from across the border, a police official said. He identified the injured civilians as Shahnaz Bano (15) and Yasin Arif (14), residents of Islamabad village.
In view of heavy shelling, authorities have decided to close all schools close to LoC in the Rajouri sector for the next three days.