Pak violates ceasefire along IB in Jammu: Official

Pakistan soldiers Friday violated ceasefire restoring to unprovoked shelling across the International Border (IB), targeting civilian areas in Hiranagar area of Kathua district, an official said.

The official said Pakistan soldiers opened fire on Chhan Tanda village during the wee hours. “They used mortar shells and heavy machine gunfire to target the civilian residential areas,” said the official.

Even as there was no loss of human life or injuries reported, District Magistrate (DM), Kathua, OP Bhagat said several shells have hit some residential houses.

“The Pakistani rangers opened fire without provocation, targeting the civilian areas,” the DM said.

Locals said they were sleeping when the firing started. “It was a scary moment when shells hit many houses in our village,” said a resident of a village, adjacent to IB. Hiranagar sector often bears the brunt of shelling from across the border.

Another official said the BSF has been kept on high alert in view of the I-Day. The patrolling has been increased along the border and local police are also coordinating with the BSF.

IG BSF Jammu Frontier, NS Jamwal said additional troops have been mobilized along the border to foil any attempt by anti-national elements.

“We always remain alert knowing that they (Pakistan) will try to disrupt peace. We are ready to deal with any situation,” he said.

The BSF has also started patrolling of Chenab River in Akhnoor, on motorboats. Meanwhile, the security forces have been kept on high alert on the highways and border areas across Jammu.

The IGP Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh has directed the police officers to step-up alertness and security in their respective districts to “check any attempt of infiltration, movement of anti-national elements and forestall any ill-conceived plan of militants.”

The security forces have established special nakas in addition to existing security arrangements to deal with any untoward incident.