Srinagar: An Indian Army jawan was killed on Saturday in firing and mortar shelling by the Pakistani troops in their latest violation of November 2003 ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC). The incident occurred in Rajouri sector of the de facto border, the defence officials said.
They identified the slain soldier as Lance Naik Mohammed Naseer, a resident of neighbouring Poonch district. “He was hit and fatally injured when the Pakistani troops resorted to firing and shelling on the Indian forward posts”, a defence spokesman in Jammu said.
"Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in Rajouri sector at around 1.30 pm today (Saturday). Firing and shelling was reported also in Balakote, Panigrian, Manjakote and Naika areas in Rasjouri and Poonch sectors. The Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively," the spokesman said. He added that 35-year-old Naseer was a resident of Ajout village of Poonch and has left behind wife Wasim Akhtar.
A statement issued by the Army in Jammu said that Naseer was “a brave and sincere soldier who loved his job to the core” and that “the nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty.”
On Wednesday, two Army men were killed in a similar incident on the LoC in Kupwara district. Lance Naik L.N. Ranjit Singh and Rifleman Satish Bhagat were killed in the Pakistani firing in Furkiya area of Chowkibal. They belonged to the Army’s Jammu and Kashmir Rifles and were residents of Jammu region of the State.
The 745-km LoC has witnessed multiple incidents of ceasefire violation in recent weeks. After each clash between the Indian and Pakistani troops, the two sides blamed each other for initiating the firing. Several civilians and soldiers on the two sides have lost their lives in the exchanges of fire.
Earlier this week, a jawan of the Territorial Army Muhammad Showkat and his wife Safia Bi were killed and their three daughters Zaida Kouser (6), Robina Kouser (12) and Nazia Bi and another person were injured when a mortar fired by the Pakistani troops exploded near their home in Karmara village of the Poonch sector.
The same day, the Pakistani authorities reported death of five civilians and injuries to a score others in the Indian firing and shelling in Chirikot, Satwal and other sectors on their side of the de facto border. India’s deputy high commissioner JP Singh was summoned by Pakistan’s Director-General (South Asia and SAARC) Muhammad Faisal to the Foreign Office in Islamabad for the second consecutive day on July 9 over the alleged ceasefire violations by the Indian troops along the LoC.
However, the Indian have countered the Pakistani claims and said that there have been as many as two dozen incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops, an attack by Pakistan special forces’ team and two infiltration bids in past one month, in which nine people including six Army jawans were killed and 12 were injured in Jammu and Kashmir.