JAMMU, Dec 23 : – An Army Major and three jawans were martyred and another seriously injured in heavy firing by Pakistan troops on forward Indian Army posts at Brat Galla in Keri sector of Chingus along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district this afternoon. In a strongly worded message after four fatal casualties, the Indian Army issued stern warning to Pakistan and vowed revenge saying “martyrdom of the Army soldiers will not go in vain’’.Though ceasefire violations by Pakistan army have become routine on the LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, it was after a long time that Army has suffered four fatal casualties in single incident of firing by the enemy troops. Sources told the Excelsior that Pakistan army suddenly started heavy firing with automatic and semi-automatic weapons targeting forward Indian posts on the LoC at Brat Galla in Keri sector of Chingus area in Rajouri district at 12.15 pm. The Indian side retaliated effectively.Significantly, Pakistan violated ceasefire at a time when Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was meeting delegations at Dak Bungalow, Rajouri, just few kilometers away from the site of ceasefire violations, as part of her ‘Public Outreach Programme’. In heavy exchange of firing, four Indian Army personnel attained martyrdom including a Major and three soldiers while another jawan was seriously injured. Pakistan was also reported to have suffered heavy losses in retaliatory firing by the Indian side but exact number of casualties or damage on the enemy side couldn’t be ascertained immediately.A Defence spokesman identified the Indian Army martyrs as Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh and Sepoy Pargat Singh. Fourth martyr, who succumbed to his injuries in the hospital, was identified as Lance Naik Kuldeep Singh. Another jawan, who was injured, was undergoing treatment in the hospital. Sources said all five injured were evacuated from the site of firing timely but four of them succumbed to their injuries and the fifth one was undergoing treatment. The Defence spokesman said Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, aged 32 years, belonged to district Bhandara in Maharashtra and is survived by his wife Aboli Moharkar.Lance Naik Gurmail Singh, aged 34, hailed from Amritsar district of Punjab and is survived by his wife Kuljit Kaur and a daughter while Sepoy Pargat Singh, 30, was a resident of district Karnal in Haryana and is survived by his wife Ramanpreet Kour and a son. “All the martyrs were brave and since soldiers. The nation will always remain indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,’’ the Defence spokesman added. The Army also issued stern warning to Pakistan after the martyrdom of four soldiers including an officer and injuries to another. “Indian Army has retaliated strongly and effectively on Pakistan army posts. Martyrdom of Indian Army soldiers will not go in vain,’’ the spokesman warned.Sources said bodies of the martyrs would be flown to their native towns tomorrow after tributes with full military honours for last rites. Their family members have been informed telephonically of their martyrdom, they added. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who was in Rajouri today and would have night halt in the border town, paid rich tributes to Army Major and three jawans, who were killed in cross-border shelling at Keri sector of Rajouri district. She conveyed her heartfelt sympathies to the families of martyrs.
This year, there has been highest number of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, where a number of Army, BSF personnel and civilians have been killed while large number of cattle perished and several houses were damaged.
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