Jammu: A BSF jawan was martyredearly this afternoon when Pakistani Rangers resumed heavy mortar shelling targeting scores of Border Out Posts (BoPs) and civilian areas along International Border (IB) in Samba and Kathua districts.
The firing from Pakistani side took place at around 2 pm today, a senior BSF official said.
This fresh ceasefire violation by Pakistan triggered another round of heavy exchanges, with BSF guards retaliating heavily.
Meanwhile, Pakistani army said, a woman and an 18-year-old youth were killed today in firing by BSFguards in Zafarwal and Shakargarh sectors of Sialkot in Pakistan.
The BSF jawan who died in Pakistani firing has been identified as Constable Davinder Kumar who was at Khora BoP post in Samba sector.
Four jawans and a woman have been killed in shelling and firing by Pakistani Rangers during the last one week, officials said, adding, five Pakistani Rangers and a girl were killed in retaliatory firing.
Kathua Deputy commissioner Kathua Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary said Pakistan has started shelling in all the border villages and that more than 5,000 people living in 57 villages on the Indian side are in danger.
"We are unable to launch rescue operations," he added.
Earlier in the day it was small arms fire, now they are using heavy mortar shells, he said.
Chowdhary said the situation is very serious and that Pakistani shells have landed 3 to 4 km inside Indian territory.
After a day-long lull, Pakistani Rangers violated ceasefire again by targeting the border posts in Kathua and Samba sectors, drawing retaliation from BSF.
"Pakistani Rangers resorted to ceasefire violation and opened small arms firing in one post in Samba district and two areas in Kathua district late last night," officials told PTI.
There was no firing by Pakistan Rangers from the night of January 3 till January 4 evening.
Residents of border villages continued to leave for safer areas in view of the latest round of ceasefire violations by Pakistan since New Year eve.
Over 3,500 people have migrated from border villages in Samba and Kathua districts.
Chowdhary said that heavy firing from across the border is going on and as soon as it halts the administration will launch rescue operation for the stranded villagers.
"Buses have been kept on standby as right now it is difficult to launch the rescue operations," the deputy commissioner said.
A senior BSF officer said that Pakistani Rangers have deliberately started targeting the civilian population but the border guards here were giving a befitting reply.
"We are replying to them in the language they understand," the officer said.
On the new year's eve, Pakistani Rangers had targeted a BSF patrol party along the international border in Samba sector killing a BSF soldier and injuring other.
Four Pakistani Rangers were killed in the retaliatory action by the Border Security forces.
Following the sudden spurt in the ceasefire violations, over 3,500 people had migrated from border villages in Samba and Kathua districts.
Around 2,500 people migrated from 11 villages in Kathua after the shelling and 1,800 people are in relief camps.
Administration has provided bedding, tarpaulin, blankets, ration, lentils, firewood, drinking water and other basic items at these relief camps, Choudhary said.
Camp commanders and camp officers have been appointed for overseeing arrangements and provision of relief.
Committees of camp inhabitants have also been constituted for coordination. Rs 5,000 each were given to the families of 5 persons injured during firing yesterday, he said.
In Samba, fear today returned to haunt the residents of border villages as Pakistan resumed heavy mortar shelling targeting scores of Border Out Posts and civilian areas along the International Border (IB) in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
The situation along the border in Samba and Kathua has become grim as the Pakistani side resorted to heavy mortar shelling, killing a BSF jawan in Samba sector, after a day of eerie silence.
"Fear has returned to haunt us... Whenever the Pakistani side fails in front of our security forces it starts targeting the innocent civilians...,"said Avtar Singh, a Samba resident.
More than 5,000 residents of the 57 villages in Kathua district are in danger and "as soon as the firing from across the border stops, we will launch rescue operations," Kathua DC Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary said.
Over 3,500 villagers from Samba and Kathua have already migrated to safer areas after four jawans and a woman were killed in Pakistan shelling and firing during the past week.
Residents of R S Pura sector situated along the IB too have started migrating following spurt in cross-border firing in the Samba and Kathua districts. "Though there has been no firing in our side, we have decided to move to safer places.
We don't want to live under the fear of getting killed any moment," said Gurjeet Singh, a resident of R S Pura.
The R S Pura residents say majority of the residents have shifted their children and elderly people to safer places.
"From the moment the Pakistani side started targeting the civilian population in Samba and Kathua districts we shifted our children and elderly people to safer locations," said Lal Singh, another resident.