Jammu, Dec 23 (PTI): Pakistani troops opened fire on an Indian Army patrol, killing a Major and three soldiers, along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keri sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Saturday, officials said.
The latest violation of the ceasefire agreement took place at a time when chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was camping in Rajouri district headquarters to address people’s grievances, they said. A defence spokesman said Pakistani troops targeted the Army patrol at Brat Galla in Keri sector at around 1215 hours.
“We suffered three fatal casualties including one officer in the incident. Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh and Sepoy Pargat Singh were grievously injured during the ceasefire violation and succumbed to their injuries. Two other personnel also sustained injuries and are undergoing treatment,” the spokesman said. Defence sources, however, said four Army personnel were killed in the “unprovoked” firing.
The Army, in a statement, said that Indian troops retaliated “strongly and effectively”. Jammu and Kashmir Deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh paid rich tributes to the slain soldiers and condemned Pakistan for the ceasefire violation. “Pakistan is indulging in such cowardly actions and is being given a befitting response, but it does not desist from such cowardly acts,” Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
Major Ambadas (32) belonged to Bhandara district in Maharashtra and is survived by wife Avoli Moharkar, while Lance Naik Gurmail Singh (34) belonged to Amritsar district in Punjab and is survived by wife kuljit Kaur and a daughter. Sepoy Pargat Singh (30) belonged to Karnal district in Haryana and is survived by wife Ramanpreet Kaur and a son, the Army said. “Major Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail and Sepoy Pargat were brave and sincere soldiers. The nation will always remain indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” the Army statement said.
The deputy chief minister said Pakistan has got isolated at the global stage, especially on the issue of terrorism. “Pakistan is a terrorist state and it will not be too long before the country is declared a terrorist state by the world. It does not only support terrorism but also provide state sponsorship,” Singh said.