Jammu, Oct 24: A 6-year-old boy and a BSF jawan were killed and 10 people, including 8 civilians, were injured in the heaviest cross-border shelling by Pakistani troops which targeted civilian areas and 25 posts of the Indian border guarding force along the International Border in Jammu throughout the night.
As the ceasefire violations intensified, BSF chief K K Sharma said Pakistani forces are deliberately trying to "create a flash point" to facilitate infiltration of militants into India and asserted that these designs will be foiled.
The Pakistani soldiers used small and automatic weapons and resorted to mortar bomb shelling to target over 25 border out posts (BoPs) and civilian areas in R S Pura, Arnia, Suchetgarh, Kanachak, Pargwal sub sectors of Jammu district since last night, a BSF officer said.
"One child died and 8 civilians were injured in the firing and shelling by Pakistani troops on posts and civilian villages along IB in Jammu district," Deputy Commissioner Jammu Simrandeep Singh said.
The boy Vicky Kumar was killed as Pakistani forces resorted to unprovoked firing in a "complete bizarre manner" on civilian areas at Laliyal village in R S Pura, official sources said.
Vicky, belonging to a labourer family from Bihar, died due to splinter injuries from a mortar shell explosion. He had spent the night in a bunker and as soon as he came out to play, the splinter hit him, officials said.
BSF constable Sushil Kumar of Kurukshetra in Haryana was also martyred and another was injured in the Pakistani firing and shelling, the BSF officer said. Sushil Kumar was hit with a splinter in his neck at a post in R S Pura and was shifted to GMC hospital, where doctors declared him dead, the senior BSF officer said.
Nine others were injured in the overnight firing of whom condition of a woman was stated to be critical. BSF was giving a befitting reply, the officer said. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a visit to Bahrain, said he spoke to BSF DG K K Sharma who apprised him of the situation in border areas of Jammu region.
"The BSF is capable of giving befitting reply," he tweeted. "I salute the bravery and sacrifice of BSF jawan Sushil Kumar who was martyred in RS Pura sector of Jammu region last night," Singh added. Simrandeep Singh said 30 cattle had also perished and 130 others were injured in the Pakistani firing and shelling in various border hamlets in the district.
Police and Civil authorities are assessing losses to property in various villages along the IB in Jammu district on account of Pakistani shelling, the Deputy Commissioner added. A huge damage has been caused to the houses and other properties in the border hamlets, an official said.