60 schools shut in Poonch in wake of ceasefire violations

Giving this assessment a day after four Armymen, including a Captain, were killed in shelling in Rajouri district on Sunday evening, officials said Pakistan is now using mortars to inflict casualties and destroy Indian posts along the LoC.

The Indian forces responded, triggering an exchange of fire between the two sides which was continuing when last reports were received, he said. At least 14 people including eight civilians and six security personnel had been killed in Pakistan firing in the Jammu region between January 18 and 22.

Two Pakistani children and two Indian soldiers were injured, officials said.

Veeri further informed that ceasefire violation was also reported from Sunderbani where one BSF Jawan namely ASI Ajab Singh sustained injuries.

An army source said the "unprovoked and indiscriminate firing" began around 3pm on Sunday.

The ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan was signed in October, 2003.

They were identified as Captain Kapil Kundu, 23, from Haryana, 43-year-old Havildar Roshan Lal from Jammu and Kashmir, Rifleman Ram Avtar, 28, from Madhya Pradesh, and 23-year-old Rifleman Shubam Singh from Jammu and Kashmir.

The ongoing shelling of civilian areas along the global border and PoK areas in Jammu and Kashmir has forced closure of at least 450 schools in the Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts with the children migrating to safer places along with their parents. Commenting on the recent death of four Indian jawans in Rajouri, Union MoS Home Hansraj Ahir said the Pakistani troopers are inviting mayhem by resorting to unprovoked firing. Poonch had also been targetted previously, and the Pakistani army had used automatic weapons and mortars to cause damage to people and property.

In 2017, there were around 860 ceasefire violations along the LoC and 120 along the International Border, the highest number in the past 15 years.

  • Joey Payne