State

Uneasy calm prevails on border after intense shelling

gy correspondent jammu sept 19
[ September 20, 2017 ] An uneasy calm prevailed in Arnia sector on International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, after six days of intense shelling by Pakistan killing a soldier and a woman and forcing hundreds of border residents to flee their homes.A BSF official said no cross-border firing or shelling incidents were reported in Arnia sector since Monday morning. The firing had stopped following strong retaliation by India, he said. However, reports said, all educational institutions in Arnia zone within five-kms of border remained closed despite calm for the last 24-hours. In August, 500 students and teachers trapped in several schools due to indiscriminate shelling by Pakistan troops were rescued in bullet-proof vehicles of the Army and police.The Pakistani troops targeted BSF border outposts and around a dozen villages namely Arnia town, Changaia, Trewa, Jawoal, Pini, Charka and Allah villages in Arnia for the last six days, causing immense hardships to hundreds of border residents.Reports said some people from forward villages of Arnia and RS Pura have migrated to the houses of their relatives in safer areas in view of continued shelling and firing while few others have taken shelter in the relief camps. However, the majority of people continued to put up in their houses, braving shelling and firing by Pakistan side, they said.Sources said security forces have strengthened presence all along the IB and the Line of Control, notwithstanding temporary thaw in the shelling, and firing and were ready to retaliate any fresh ceasefire violations from Pakistan side. "There are reports that Lashkar-eToiba militants have mixed up with Pakistan army to target the BSF and infiltrate into the Indian territory. Taking no chance, the BSF was taking all steps to counter infiltration attempts by the militants on the International Border," they said.During the past few months, Pakistan army had been targeting Line of Control (LoC) in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri by pounding civilian areas. However, it has recently shifted focus towards the International Border.