Pak targets civil areas with heavy weaponry: Army

Pak targets civil areas with heavy weaponry: Army

The intense shelling and firing from across the border continued throughout the night in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district, while it started in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch in the early hours of Wednesday, they said. (PTI File Photo)

Indian Army on Wednesday accused Pakistan Army to fire upon the civilian areas in Jammu and Kashmir with heavy artillery and mortars, though fortunately there was no civilian casualties.

“In the last 24 hours, the Pakistan Army resorted to intense and unprovoked firing with heavy caliber weapons in selected areas of Krishna Ghati and Sunderbani, targeting Indian posts and civilian areas with mortar bombs and heavy artillery guns. The same was effectively retaliated by the Indian Army. There have been no casualties on the Indian side,” Indian Army says in a statement.

“We would reiterate that as a professional army we are committed to avoid civil casualties, especially along the Line of Control. All actions taken by our defence forces are targeted towards counter terrorism and terrorist infrastructure, away from civilian areas, to avoid civilian casualties,” it adds.

The LoC undoubtedly was quite tense in the last two years, but became red-hot following the Pulwama terror attack and Indian Air Force's aerial strike across the border.

While civilian areas are generally avoided by both sides, Indian Army's categorical accusation on the use of heavy artillery marks an escalation in hostility between the two neighbours.

“We are maintaining strict vigil along the LoC and International Border. Any further provocation or misadventure by Pakistan will be responded in a befitting manner with dire consequences,” said the Army statement.

The ceasefire violation records kept by the Army showed between January 1 and Feb 18, there were 279 instances of ceasefire violations across the LoC using mortars and small arms.

After the aerial engagement between IAF and PAF on January 27, ceasefire violations happened at Sunderbani, Maskote, Khari Khamara and Degwar sectors on February 28 and Akhnoor sector on March 4. In both cases, small arms and mortars were used.

For comparison, there were 1629 and 860 cases ceasefire violations across the LoC in 2018 and 2017 respectively.