J&K: Soldier killed in firing along LoC in Poonch

The Indian Army retaliated strongly but the casualties suffered by Pakistan were not known immediately. (Express File Photo)

An Army jawan, injured in cross-border firing by Pakistan troops along the Line of Control(LoC) along the Poonch sector on Saturday evening, succumbed to injuries in the early hours of Sunday. Pakistani troops have resorted to ceasefire violations along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts for the past one week.

Identifying the dead soldier as Grenadier Hari Bhaker of Joosari village in Rajasthan's Nagaur district, Defence Ministry spokesperson Lt Colonel Devender Anand said he was grievously injured during unprovoked cross- border firing by Pakistani troops in Poonch sector on Saturday evening. He was taken to a hospital where he succumbed.

Bhakar's body was flown to Rajasthan by evening. His last rites will be performed Monday.

In the firing which continued till late on Saturday night, Pakistan troops used "heavy caliber weapons and also rockets'', the spokesperson said. "Our troops retaliated in a strong measure inflicting adequate damage and casualties on Pakistan Army," he added. Bhakar, who is survived by his mother Kamla Devi, was a brave soldier and the nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice, said Anand.

He is the third Indian soldier killed in cross-border firing along the LoC since last Monday. Earlier, two riflemen Yash Pal and Karamjeet Singh were killed in Sunderbani sector.

Ever since the Balakot air strike after Pulwama attack, there has been a spurt in incidents of shelling and firing by Pakistan.

On Sunday too, Pakistani troops resorted to mortar shelling and small arms fire along the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district.