Tension gripped the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday when the Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked firing that left four Indian Army soldiers, including a Major from Maharashtra, dead, and another one injured.The incident took place in the afternoon, when the Pakistan Army violated the ceasefire and fired indiscriminately on the Indian Army posts along the LoC in the Keri battalion area of Rajouri sector in the Jammu division.Four soldiers — three Lance Naiks and a Major of the 120 Infantry Brigade — were killed while another one was injured. “Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh, Lance Naik Kuldeep Singh and Sepoy Pargat Singh were grievously injured in firing and later succumbed to their injuries. Two other personnel who have sustained injuries are undergoing treatment,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at the Northern Command Headquarters.Vowing to avenge the killings, the Indian troops swung into action to silence the Pakistani guns. “The Indian Army has retaliated strongly and effectively on the Pakistan Army posts. Our soldiers’ martyrdom will not go in vain,” Colonel Joshi said.Hailing from Bhandara in Maharashtra, Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, 32, is survived by wife Avoli Moharkar.Lance Naik Gurmail Singh, 34, belonged to district Amritsar in Punjab and is survived by wife Kuljit Kaur and a daughter. Hailing from District Karnal, Haryana, Sepoy Pargat Singh, 30, is survived by wife Ramanpreet Kaur and a son.”They were brave and sincere soldiers. The nation will always remain indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” Colonel Joshi said.The Pakistani firing on Indian posts came on a day when J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was in Rajouri to meet locals, as part of her public outreach programme.Anger has swept across the state, with the BJP warning of another surgical strike. “It is a cowardly act by Pakistan. Bad days are in store for Pakistan. Blood of our jawans will not go in vain. Pakistan will have to pay a heavy price for it,” said Ravinder Raina, BJP MLA from Nowshera.Meanwhile, the figures presented in the Lok Sabha revealed that Pakistan has violated the ceasefire along the LoC in J&K 771 times till December 10 this year, and 110 times along the International Border (IB) till November-end.Nearly 30 people, including 14 Army personnel, 12 civilians, and four BSF personnel were killed in these ceasefire violations this year.Last year, there were 449 incidents of ceasefire violations in which 13 civilians and 13 security personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured. The truce between India and Pakistan along the IB, the LoC, and the Actual Ground Position Line in Siachen glacier came into force in November 2003.
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