Over 3,000 people living in border hamlets have been evacuated to safe areas under a contingency plan, enforced on Saturday after the latest ceasefire violation by Pakistan soon after midnight targeting the entire border belt of Arnia and RS Pura as well as Hamirpur sub-sector in Poonch.
    
The BSF troops took positions and responded with equal calibre weapons to Pakistani firing which resulted in heavy exchange of fire till 07:00 am today, a senior BSF officer.
    
"Pak Rangers resorted to heavy shelling of 82-mm mortars and firing of automatic weaponry on 22 BoPs and civilian areas along IB in Arnia and RS Pura sub-sectors of Jammu district from 12:30 am today," the officer said.
    
In Jora farm, Akram Hussain and his son Aslam were killed and three other family members were injured when a Pakistani shell exploded inside their house after tearing the roof, Sub Divisional Police officer (SDPO), RS Pura, Devender Singh.
    
This was the heaviest unprovoked and indiscriminate firing and shelling by Pakistani Rangers this year along in Jammu frontier in violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement, he said.
    
Pakistan troops also violated ceasefire twice on Saturday by resorting to heavily firing with automatic and small arms along Hamirpur sub-sector in Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch districts of Jammu and Kashmir, forcing Indian troops to retaliate strongly.
    
There was a heavy onslaught of 82-mm mortar shells by Pakistani Rangers on atleast 13 border hamlets triggering panic among the people.
    
Six persons including a BSF jawan were also injured and 5 houses suffered damaged, security officials said.

                                    HIGHLIGHTS
Pakistani continues to violate ceasefire despite India voicing protests against such incidents
Saturday’s incidents of ceasefire violation is the biggest ever in recent times, resulting in killing of two civilians and injuring six civilians
Over 3,000 people living in border hamlets have been evacuated to safe areas under a contingency plan
The BSF troops took positions and responded with equal calibre weapons to Pakistani firing which resulted in heavy exchange of fire
This was the heaviest unprovoked and indiscriminate firing and shelling by Pakistani Rangers this year along in Jammu frontier in violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement

Singh, who led the evacuation and rescue operation, said that firing and shelling has taken place in entire border belt of Arnia and RS Pura.
    
The shelling targeted villages of Sia, Jordha farm, Treva, Nikowal, Pittal, Pindi, Top-2, Gari, Gharana, Abdullian Korotana, Korotana Khurd and Vidhipur Jattan.

Among the injured are Ajay Chowdhary of Korotana Khurd and Rani Devi of Vidhipur Jattan, besides a BSF jawan.

"At least 3000 people from seven to eight villages, falling within firing range of the Pakistani troops, were evacuated by the district administration in view of their safety and shifted to safe shelters," Divisional Commissioner, Jammu Zone, Shant Manu said.
    
They were housed in safe shelters in the Government High School, Rangpur in Basspur Bungalow and Government Industrial Training Institute (ITI), RS Pura. These two government buildings were among the accommodation identified by the district administration to protect civilians from Pakistan firing as a part of the contingency plan.
    
Administration and police official were camping in RS Pura and have made arrangements for accommodating the border villagers, he said.
    
The heavy firing and shelling comes after the discovery of a possible cross-border tunnel from PoK along LoC in Chalka post in Pallanwala sector of Jammu district on Friday.
    
There have been 16 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in nearly a fortnight and 18 this month.

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