The Indian Army said its soldiers responded 'appropriately' to unprovoked shelling by Pakistan. Photograph: (AFP)
There have reportedly been more than 60 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in Kashmir since India's 'surgical strike' on September 29
India and Pakistan accused each other of ceasefire violations in several areas across the Line of Control (LoC) between the two countries.
A 60-year-old woman, Rasheeda Bi, and a soldier, Bimal Tamang, were killed in unprovoked shelling by Pakistani troops in the Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir, international news agency Reuters and indian news agency PTI quoted the Indian Army as saying. Two other soldiers were also injured in the incident, the Indian Army said.
Rasheeda Bi's 22-year-old daughter, Najma, was injured in the shelling targeting Mendhar's Goulad village in Poonch district, police told PTI. Rasheeda Bi is the second woman from Goulad village in Balakote sector to die from Pakistani shelling. On October 28 a 50-year-old woman, Usma Bi, was killed in shelling by Pakistani troops.
"Today since 9 am, unprovoked ceasefire violation has been carried out by Pakistan in Balakote sector and it is very unfortunate that they have carried out this unprovoked ceasefire violation, and we responding to it befittingly and hitting them where it hits them the maximum,"Colonel Manish Mehta, a Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO), in Jammu told Reuters.
"Pakistani troops indulged in unprovoked ceasefire violation from 9 am in the Balakote sector, using 120 mm and 82 mm mortars, automatic and small arms," the officer told PTI.
PTI reports that there have been more that 60 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops across the border in Jammu and Kashmir since the Indian Army's "surgical strikes" against terrorist launchpads across the LoC on September 29.
Authorities in the state have already evacuated hundreds of people from villages along the frontier with Pakistan following frequent ceasefire violations, Reuters reports.
4 civilians killed in Indian ceasefire violations across LoC: Pakistan
Meanwhile, Pakistan daily Dawn reported that Pakistan claimed four people, including a woman, were killed and six injured in "unprovoked firing" by the Indian Army along the LoC.
“Indian troops have yet again resorted to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control in Nakyal, Jandrot and Kel sectors,” said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The ISPR statement added that Pakistani troops “befittingly responded and targeted Indian posts”.
A government official from Nakyal told Dawn that there had been intense shelling since 8 am, with Indian troops using both small and heavy arms.
Zeeshan Nisar, Naykal's assistant commissioner, also said that at least three men and a woman were killed by Indian fire. “Since the shelling is continuing, we are unable to collect all details, I am afraid there might be more casualties,” he said.
Over 30 injured in more clashes
In separate clashes between security forces and officials in a village in Kashmir's Pulwama district, over 30 people were injured on Monday, PTI reported.
Three security force officers were also injured, in clashes which erupted shortly after the police, the Indian Army and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) cordoned off Rohomu village for house-to-house searches, officials said. Residents took to the streets and started protesting, leading to confrontations.
Officials told PTI that security forces had to fire dozens of teargas shells and use pellet guns to restore normalcy, resulting in clashes.
The residents, however, alleged that the clashes erupted after security forces started roughing up locals and smashing window panes of the houses and windscreens of parked vehicles.
Clashes between security forces and the people in Kashmir have intensified after the kiling of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July.
(With inputs from PTI)