After five days of skirmishes along the International Border in the sector, guns fell silent on Monday with no firing from the Pakistan side. "There was no firing or mortar shelling by Pakistani Rangers since last night and calm has returned to the International Border (IB)," said a BSF official. Guns have fallen silent after the befitting reply to the firing by Pakistan on Sunday, he said.
But the fear and threat of firing and shelling of mortars is prevalent among the population along the IB in RS Pura and Arnia sub-sectors of Jammu district. "The threat of unprovoked firing is there. But we have already made arrangements for safe shelters and identified them for shifting the border people in case of increased Pak firing and shelling," Divisional Commissioner Jammu division Shant Manu said. "The situation has now returned to normalcy as firing has come to a halt," he said.
In a major ceasefire violation on Sunday, Pakistan Rangers indulged in heavy firing and shelling of mortar bombs on 15 border outposts (BoPs) and several villages along the International Border in Jammu district, damaging houses and killing livestock. The firing and shelling targeted the BoPs and several border hamlets in Arnia and RS Pura belts of Jammu district since 0200 hours till 6.00 am on Sunday, a senior government official had said.
The official said BSF troops guarding the borderline retaliated to Pakistan shelling, resulting in exchanges, which continued till Sunday morning.
Villages and BoP areas of Bakarpur, Gharna, Sai, Kaku-de-Kothey, Pittal, Pindi, Kaku-di-Kottay, Channa, Pindi Chadka, Pindi Camp, Jabowal, Abdullian, Karotona, Bega, Bera, Nikowal, Chandu Chak and Suchetgarh were affected in the fresh round of firing from across the border.
Voicing concern over repeated ceasefire violations, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take up the issue with Pakistan. "We are not worried about China now because they don't harm us anymore. But ceasefire violation has increased from Pakistan's side and is a matter of great concern as they are hampering life. I want the PM to talk to Pakistan authorities that it's not right," Omar had said.
This was the fifth ceasefire violation since July 16.