Army Major among 4 soldiers martyred as Pakistan violates LoC ceasefire

Jammu, Dec 23 (IANS) Four Indian Army soldiers, including a Major, were¬†martyred on Saturday in a ceasefire violation by the Pakistan Army on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district.

According to Army sources, the cease fire violation took place around 12.15 p.m. in Keri sector of the LoC in Rajouri, where a patrol party of the Indian Army was targeted by Pakistan Army.

The soldiers martyred were all in their early 30s.

The officer martyred has been identified as 32-year-old Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas of 120 Infantry Brigade, who hailed from Bhandara district of Maharashtra. He is survived by his wife Avoli Moharkar.

Other soldiers martyred were 34-year-old Lance Naik Gurmail Singh from Amritsar, Punjab, who is survived by his wife Kuljit Kaur and a daughter, and 30 year-old Sepoy Pargat Singh of Karnal, Haryana who is survived by his wife Ramanpreet Kaur and a son.

Another soldier, who was grievously injured, later succumbed to his injuries, police said, taking the toll to four.

A statement issued by the Indian Army said Indian forces retaliated heavily to the cross-border firing.

“Indian Army has retaliated strongly and effectively on Pakistan Army posts. Martyrdom of the Indian Army soldiers will not go in vain,” the statement said.

According to information given to Parliament by the government, 771 ceasefire violations were reported on the LoC up to December 10 this year and 110 on the International Border till November 30.

A total of 30 people – 12 civilians, 14 Army personnel and four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel – were martyred in these ceasefire violations.

Ceasefire violations on the LoC, under operational control of Army, this year were threefold higher compared to 228 in 2016. There were 152 ceasefire violations in 2015 and 153 in 2014 on the LoC.

However, there was a steep decline in ceasefire violations on the IB, manned by BSF, compared to 221 incidents in 2016. A total of 253 ceasefire violation were reported on the IB in 2015 and 430 in 2014.

India shares a 3,323 km long border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.