Army officer killed as Pak violates ceasefire in J&K

Army officer killed as Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC in J&K

Reports said one civilian identified as Mohammad Rashid was also injured in the incident

Credit: PTI file photo.

A junior commissioned officer (JCO) of the Indian army was killed and a civilian injured when Pakistani troops violated ceasefire and resorted to heavy shelling in forward areas along Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Thursday.

Officials said the Pakistan Army initiated the unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing from small arms and intense shelling of mortars along the LoC in the Kirni Qasba sector of Poonch.

“Subedar Swathantra Singh of 16 Garhwal was critically injured in the firing in Kirni Qasba sector. The 48-year-old was shifted to army hospital but succumbed to the injuries,” they said.

Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devinder  Anand while confirming the killing of the officer in the ceasefire violation by the Pakistan army said the Indian Army retaliated in a befitting manner.

Reports said one civilian identified as Mohammad Rashid was also injured in the incident.

Pakistan has been targeting the forward areas and border hamlets along the LoC in J&K frequently. Six civilians and five security forces personnel were killed in multiple ceasefire violations by Pakistani army along the LoC in north Kashmir on November 13 while eight Pakistani soldiers were reportedly killed in the retaliatory action by Indian army.

On November 8, seven persons, including three army men, a BSF personnel and three militants were killed as security forces foiled a major infiltration bid near the LoC in Machhil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Prior to that three army soldiers were killed and four others were injured on October 1 as Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the LoC in Kupwara and Poonch districts.

According to official figures, as many as 3386 incidents of ceasefire violations have taken place along the LoC and International Border (IB) in Jammu & Kashmir in the first eight months of 2020. Last year 3479 incidents of ceasefire violations were reported in J&K.

The Army maintains that Pakistani troops have been frequently violating ceasefire by resorting to heavy shelling and firing to help the militants to infiltrate. A number of infiltration attempts have been thwarted by the army along the LoC leading to the killing of several infiltrating militants in recent months.