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Seven injured in heavy shelling by Pakistan along International Border

WION Web Team
JammuUpdated: May 22, 2018, 04:40 PM IST

File photo. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

A 70-year-old woman was among seven persons injured as Pakistani Rangers opened fire and lobbed mortars along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir early on Tuesday, triggering panic among border residents and forcing many to take shelter in government-run camps.

“The cross-border firing and shelling continued unabated and has spread to all sectors from Akhnoor to Samba along the IB,” a senior BSF official told PTI.  He said BSF troops guarding the border retaliated effectively and exchanges between the two sides were continuing when reports last came in.

Inspector General of Police, Jammu, S D Singh Jamwal said one person was injured in the fresh firing in the worst-hit Arnia sector of Jammu district.

Madan Lal Bhagat, a resident of Pindi Charkan village of Arnia, was hit by splinters in the abdomen and foot after a mortar shell hit his house in the early hours today, the officials said adding he has been admitted to the Government Medical College.

Police said a 70-year-old woman identified as Kaushalya Devi was also injured in the firing.

Jamwal said police parties have been deployed and are helping people shift to safer places from affected areas.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Hemant Kumar Sharma said relief camps have been activated at safer places all along the IB especially in R S Pura and Arnia sectors which witnessed heavy mortar shelling by Pakistan over the past two days.

Hundreds of people have reported at these camps set up in educational institutions and other government buildings, Sharma said.

He said adequate facilities have been made available at these camps so that the displaced people do not face any problem.

He said all schools vulnerable to Pakistani shelling have been closed along the IB as a precautionary measure.

The latest round of cross-border shelling started on May 15 when BSF foiled two infiltration attempts by Pakistan-backed infiltrators in Samba sector of Jammu.

So far seven persons including two BSF jawans and an infant have been killed and 18 others injured in the latest ceasefire violation by Pakistan.

The state has witnessed a spurt in Pakistani shelling and firing along the IB and the LoC this year. Over 700 such incidents have been reported this year, which have left a total of 39 people, including 18 security personnel, dead and scores injured.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the security forces have a free hand to respond as they deem fit if the neighbouring country continued the offensive.

Speaking at the Border Security Force`s (BSF) 16th investiture ceremony function here, Singh said "We have a neighbour that does not want to correct itself.

"Yet, we must not fire the first bullet at our neighbour. But if it opens fire, you (security forces) have to decide what action to take. Then no one will ask why you did so."

(With inputs from PTI)