Day after 3 siblings injured in Pak shelling, JK officials visit LoC areas

Day after 3 siblings injured in Pak shelling, JK officials visit LoC areas
A day after three minor siblings were injured in heavy firing and shelling by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, senior government officials visited the forward areas to assess the prevailing situation.

An official spokesperson said Deputy Commissioner Poonch, Tariq Ahmad Zargar visited shelling affected areas to take the stock of damages to property and assess the situation prevailing on the forward LoC areas of sub division Mendhar.

The team of officers including SSP Poonch Rajiv Panday met with Mohammad Nasib the father of three children injured due to Pakistani shelling on Saturday night. The injured children were identified as five-year-old Saquib Naseeb, eight-year-old Rafia Naseeb, 15-year-old Tariq Naseeb and 17-year-old Tahira Naseeb, who have been shifted to a hospital for treatment.

Later, the team of officers also visited to other shelling affected areas Drana, Basooni, Balakote to get appraisal from the local regarding damages to properties and livestock due to heavy cross border shelling during the intervening night, the spokesperson added.

Eyewitnesses told DH over phone that Pakistani troops started firing mortars and bullets, directly targeting civilian areas including Balakote, Balakote Forward, Tarkundi, Langiot, Kanga, Sandiot, Khanetar, Dhar Galoon and surroundings in Balakote sector of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district on Saturday evening.

“The people, who were working in the fields while children playing outside their houses were caught unaware in heavy mortar shelling. The people took shelter in houses, bunkers and other available space,” they said, adding that one of the mortar shells fired by Pakistani troops exploded in the house of Khan, a police constable, injuring his three children. Khan is posted in Jammu.

Security forces and local people braved heavy shelling and firing to evacuate injured from the forward village and shifted them to hospital, eyewitnesses said. The landing of mortar shells close to houses in border villages has created a wave of panic and fear among the residents. On Thursday, an Army personnel and a defence porter were killed while six others including five troopers were injured in firing by Pakistan army at Khari Karmara in Poonch sector.

A senior army officer said they expect the ceasefire violations to continue for some days as Pakistan has been relentlessly trying to push heavily-armed militants into India with nefarious intention of disturbing peace and cause casualties on security forces in the hinterland.

“However, well aware of the new strategy of Pakistan we have strengthened anti-infiltration grid. Whenever the militants try to infiltrate, they would be either killed or forced to retreat,” he added.

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