Another jawan martyred, 2 hurt
JAMMU, Mar 22: At least 12 Pakistan army personnel including two officers were killed and 22 others were injured in major retaliatory actions undertaken by the Indian troops following continuous ceasefire violations on the Line of Control (LoC) in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch. Pakistani troops suffered heavy losses across Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district.
Meanwhile, an Indian Army soldier was martyred and two others were injured in Pakistan shelling and firing in Sunderbani and Pallanwalla sectors in Rajouri and Jammu districts during last two days while Pakistani troops pounded civilian areas heavily with long range mortar shells in Mendhar and Balakote sectors in Poonch district this afternoon. Pakistan army used artillery guns for shelling again. Few days back, Pakistan had used artillery fires to target civilians in Nowshera and Poonch. Click here to watch video
Sources told the Excelsior that the Indian Army undertook major retaliatory action against Pakistani troops on the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts especially Sunderbani sector and to silence the Pakistani guns, which had been targeting forward Indian posts and civilian areas regularly for past over 20 days.
At least 12 Pakistan army personnel including two in the rank of officers have been killed in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops, sources confirmed. They said 12 coffins including two premiums, which are used for officers by the Pakistan army, were seen in Pakistan’s Brigade Headquarters across Sunderbani sector through high resolution gadgetries.
Immediately thereafter, two Pakistan army choppers flew over the LoC carrying dead bodies from the Brigade Headquarters to Rawalpindi, sources said, adding that 22 Pakistani troopers have been injured, some of them seriously.
“There was virtual panic in Pakistan army camp across Sunderbani sector after the Indian Army retaliation,’’ sources said, adding that it was in view of this that the Pakistani troops opened Mendhar and Balakote sectors in Poonch district and vent their frustration on innocent civilians in these two areas.
Pakistan army started shelling using long range mortars and firing with heavy weapons in Mendhar and Balakote sectors at 3.40 pm, directly targeting the villagers, who were working in their fields or were out on other work. People took shelters in houses, bunkers and other structures to survive. Though some houses were damaged in Pakistan shelling, there was no report of any casualty on the Indian side.
The shelling stopped around 7 pm, giving civil population a sigh of relief.
The Indian side retaliated Pakistan shelling and firing very strongly and effectively, sources said.
Yesterday, Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked shelling and firing on the LoC in Sunderbani and Nowshera sectors in Rajouri district and Pallanwalla sector of Akhnoor tehsil in Jammu district, inviting strong response from the Indian side.
An Indian Army jawan was martyred in Sunderbani sector in Pakistan shelling and firing. He has been identified as Rifleman Yash Paul, 24, a resident of Mantalai in Chenani tehsil of Udhampur district. He is survived by his wife.
“Rifleman Yash Paul was a brave and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifices and devotion to duty,’’ a Defence spokesman said.
Body of the martyr soldier was sent to his native village in Mantalai after wreath laying ceremony with full military honours.
Rifleman Yash Paul was second soldier to be martyred in Sunderbani sector during last five days. On March18, Rifleman Karamajeet Singh of Moga, Punjab had attained martyrdom in the same sector.
Meanwhile, two Army soldiers were injured in Pakistan shelling and firing in Pallanwalla sector of Akhnoor tehsil this afternoon. They were evacuated from the site of shelling and firing and shifted to the Military Hospital.
Indian Army gave effective reply to Pakistan shelling in Pallanwalla sector.
There has been spurt in ceasefire violations by Pakistan army all along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts and Akhnoor sector of Jammu district ever since Indian Air Force conducted major air strike at Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Balakote area of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in which large number of militants were killed.
Besides martyrdom of two Army jawans, four civilians have also been killed in Pakistan shelling and firing in Poonch and Rajouri districts while over a dozen others were injured. Pakistan army has also suffered heavy losses in the Indian retaliation.
Meanwhile, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, Army Commander, Northern Command, accompanied by the White Knight Corps Commander, Lt Gen Paramjit Singh today visited forward posts in Rajouri and Reasi sectors to interact with soldiers and review the operational preparedness.
During the visit, the Army Commander was briefed about the current operational situation on the Line of Control, ceasefire violations, preparedness for strong and speedy response to enemy actions at the LoC, actions being taken to ensure a robust counter infiltration grid and use of new generation technology for enhancing operational capability.
Lt Gen Ranbir Singh was also updated on the measures being undertaken to ensure secure environment in the region for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. He complemented the synergy between Army, Jammu and Kashmir Police, Central Armed Police Forces and the civil administration in maintaining peace and stability in the hinterland.
The Northern Command chief interacted with the soldiers and complimented them for their unwavering dedication to duty, selfless devotion and high standard of professionalism. He was appreciative of the measures and Standard Operating Procedures instituted by the units and formations in their area of responsibility to minimize casualties due to increased ceasefire violations.
The need to be prepared for effectively meeting current emerging security challenges was also reinforced. He also exhorted all ranks on the need to remain vigilant to counter the nefarious designs of the enemy and anti national elements. The Army Commander appreciated the preparedness and high morale of soldiers in the hinterland.