Three civilians were injured as Pakistani troops opened fire and shelled 17 border out posts and hamlets along the International Border in Jammu and Samba districts overnight, resulting in heavy exchanges till the wee hours on Friday.
A total of 11 civilians have been injured in the Pakistani firing since yesterday, police officials said. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and PHE and Irrigation Minister Sham Lal Sharma met the border dwellers injured in the Pakistani shelling at GMCHospital in Jammu on Friday morning.
Border Security Force officials said, "There was shelling of mortar bombs, rockets and firing by automatic weapons on 16 BoPs and civilians areas of Ramgarh, Arnia, R S Pura and Akhnoor sub-sectors of Samba and Jammu districts since Thursday night".
Pakistani troops also shelled border out posts in Hiranagar sector.
BSF troops guarding the borderline retaliated, resulting in heavy exchanges, which continued till 4 am on Friday, the officials said.
Two more civilians identified as Raj Kumar of Garkhal village in Aknoor belt and Sunny Baba of Pindi Charaka in Arnia belt, were injured in the shelling, police officials said, adding with this the number of injured in shelling and firing has gone upto to 11.
In view of the shelling, over 250 villagers have fled their homes in Sidhar in Garkhal belt. Villagers of SM Pura and Jaso chak have also shifted to Avaat village in view of the intense shelling.
The village head of Garkhal village Kali Dass demanded that the Government give a befitting reply to Pakistan.
"The government and the BSF have failed to give them a strong reply. Give Pakistan a strong reply", the village head told reporters at GMCHospital.
Sharma, who is Legislator from Akhnoor border assembly segment, told reporters, "It is human right violation and also violation of Geneva convention. They are directly hitting villages and civilians. It is very unfortunate".
"The situation is tense. There are two ways -- either give a befitting reply and if that cannot be done, hold talks to end the suffering of the people,” he said.
Image: A Kashmiri border villager carries cane over his shoulder as an Indian soldier keeps guard near the Line of Control in Jabri village post 240 km north of Srinagar
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters