Truce violation in Balakot, 500 more villagers take refuge in relief camps
The constant fear of mortar shelling and firing from the Pakistan side has triggered fresh migration from villages close to the Line of Control in Rajouri district, with nearly 500 more border villagers reaching relief camps till Wednesday evening.
The fresh migration has been reported from Pukharni, Lam and Jahangar areas close to the LoC. The administration is expecting more migration from border belts in view of the growing apprehension of fresh firing and shelling from the other side of the border.
The Pakistan army, meanwhile, continued to target the Indian forward posts, though intermittently, in violation of the truce pact. According to official sources, the Pakistan army resorted to heavy firing at forward posts along the LoC in the Balakot sector of Poonch district early Wednesday morning. “They (Pakistan) violated the ceasefire again by firing at Indian forward posts and civilians areas, located in the 12-km range of Tarkunde-Lohar Gali belt on the LoC. First, they targeted two forward posts Lanjote and Dadot around 5 am for a few minutes and later resumed firing around 7.30 am on the entire Tarkunde-Lohar Gali belt till 9 am,” a source said.
A defence spokesperson, however, said: “Pakistan resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in the Balakot sector from 12.50 am to 1.30 am on the intervening night of May 16 and May 17. Our troops retaliated strongly and gave a befitting reply to Pakistan firing”.
“Fresh migration of border people has taken place from Pokharni, Lam and Jahangir areas as 435 more villagers shifted to relief camps today. Till now, a total of 2,180 people of 540 families are staying in five relief camps set up by the administration,” said Rajouri Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary. On May 13, Pakistani troops had pounded civilian areas and forward posts in the Nowshera area with mortars, killing two civilians and injuring three. The firing from the other side of the LoC triggered migration in the area besides closure of educational institutions.