It is raining shells on the International Border (IB) here in Jammu. For the last few days Pakistani Rangers are using long range mortars which can hit the civilian areas far from the International Border.
Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers manning the 200-kilometre-long IB said Pakistani Rangers have started using 82 mm mortar shells which has a range of around six kilometres. They are also using 60 mm shells which can hit the targets in two kilometre range.
“The 82 mm mortars have specially been inducted to hit long range targets. They are using these mortars to hit civilian areas which are far off from the zero line. These shells can create havoc. It is a deliberate attempt to hit the civilian targets to spread fear among those people who are living far from the IB,” said a BSF officer.
And that is why Pakistan Rangers shelled the Kanuchak village which is three to four kilometres away from the IB in Pargawal sector on Sunday night. An SPO Girdari Lal suffered splinter injuries as a shell exploded when he was on a patrol during the night.
Anju Devi was sleeping with her three kids when she heard the deafening explosion outside. She immediately woke up. While she was peeping through the window, there was another explosion which shook the entire house. “My kids woke up and hugged me as they were scared. I was praying to God for safety. We could not sleep for the night. On Monday morning when we ventured out we found shells had hit our house and it had developed cracks. It was miraculous escape.
We did not send our kids to school today out of fears,” he said.
Pakistani Rangers targeted Indian posts at 20 to 25 locations along the IB in RS Pora and Pargawal sectors of Jammu division on Sunday night. One BSF jawan suffered wounds in the cross-border shelling. “They (Pakistanis) used all kinds of weapons during the ceasefire violations. One of our boys suffered minor wounds,” Darmendra Parekh, DIG BSF (Jammu Frontier) told dna.
On Sunday, Pakistani Rangers had targeted eight places along the IB in Hiranagar, Pargawal and Arnia sectors of Jammu division. However, there was no loss of life in these ceasefire violations.
Pakistani shelling has not only triggered fear but it is inflicting huge financial losses to the people living on the IB. The paddy and vegetable crops are ready for harvesting but people are reluctant to go to fields. Those who venture to harvest the crop are doing it on their own risk as the authorities have told them to be cautious. “Farmers have been told not to stay in the fields after 5pm. Those who venture during the day have been asked to be cautious. Pakistan has deployed snipers in their post and the farmland is in their direct range. Plus they are using 60 mm mortars too to hit nearer targets,” said an officer.