1 BSF Jawan, 1 Civilian Killed In Ceasefire


Srinagar: A 17-year-old girl died after a Pakistani mortar shell exploded near her in Arnia today morning, hours after a Border Security Force soldier was killed in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir’s RS Pora sector.

Arnia’s tehsildar Gurpreet Singh said the woman, identified as Neelam aka Sweety, had come to her uncle’s house in Pindi Charakan village from Dayalachak to attend a family function.

The station house officer of Arnia police station, Sunil Kumar, said that the girl had gone to a field to relieve herself when the mortar exploded near her at around 8.30am. Pakistan Rangers have been targetting villages along the International border in Arnia and RS Pura areas of Jammu district since Wednesday night.

Tehsildar Singh said four villagers, identified as Ramesh Chander, Chanchala Devi, Darshan Lal and Ramesh Lal, were also injured on Wednesday night after Pakistan violated the ceasefire. All of them are residents of ward number 13 of Arnia town.

He added that around 25 villages were also targetted by Pakistan Rangers when they started firing at late on Wednesday night. Additional deputy commissioner of Jammu Dr Arun Kumar Manhas said that the mortar shelling lasted till midnight.

There was panic among the villagers and they stayed indoors, he added. “The district administration has asked all its officers to remain in the state of highest preparedness in view of continuous ceasefire violations by Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.

However, the villagers have not been evacuated so far, he said. Arnia town with over 20,000 population is the biggest municipal town in the state located on India-Pakistan border. The official also said that all the schools within the five-km radius of the border in Arnia and RS Pura have been closed as a preventive measure.

“People have been advised to stay indoors,” he said. BSF inspector general Jammu Frontier Ram Awtar said head constable A Suresh was killed and another jawan injured in the firing on Wednesday. He said that the BSF retaliated strongly to the unprovoked firing and shelling.

Suresh was born in 1976 and joined the paramilitary force in 1995. The soldier from Tamil Nadu is survived by a 13-year-old daughter and six-year-old son.

Ram Awtar said the force salutes Suresh’s supreme sacrifice and offered condolence to his family. The latest ceasefire violation by Pakistan came two days after the Indian Army killed seven Pakistani soldiers in Kotli’s Janglote area opposite the Mendhar sector. The dead Pakistani soldiers included a major as well.