An Indian Army soldier was killed on Monday as Pakistani troops indulged in  unprovoked,  heavy cross-border shelling during the ongoing ceasefire violation at the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

He is the fourth soldier who got killed in Pakistani firing along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch this month, according to officials.

Earlier, Pakistan started indiscriminate, unprovoked shelling on the Line of Control (LoC) today in several sectors in  Poonch and Rajouri districts.

“At about 3.30 am today Pakistan initiated unprovoked firing with small arms and shelling with mortars along the LoC in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district,” a Defence ministry spokesman  was quoted by news agency as saying.

“Again at about 5.30 a.m. Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district. Indian army is retaliating befittingly at both the sectors,” he added.

Earlier, on June 14, another soldier was killed and two others injured . 29-year-old Lungambui Abonmei who was critically injured, succumbed to his wounds. The two injured soldiers, Lienkhothien Senghon and Tangsoik Kwianiungar were airlifted to the military hospital at Udhampur.

Havaldar P Mathiazhagan got killed in the Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district on June 4 in yet another ceasefire violation, While, Naik Gurcharan Singh also lost his life in cross border shelling  on June 10 in Tarkundi sector.

The bilateral ceasefire agreement signed by India and Pakistan in October, 2003 has been violated by the neighbouring country with impunity during the last one month, throwing the  lives of hundreds of border villagers haywire. Their lives and livelihood are threatened by the hostilities on the LoC in Poonch, Rajouri, Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipora and Jammu districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier, on Saturday as well Pakistan shelled mortars along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, drawing a strong retaliation from the Indian Army, a defence spokesperson had said.

“At about 6:45 PM, Pakistan initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and shelling mortars along LoC in Nowshera sector. The Army is retaliating befittingly,” the spokesperson said.

Pakistan’s Army had resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in May as well at the Line of Control (LoC) in  Kirni and Degwar sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, for three consecutive days.

Earlier, in April as well the Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district as well as in the Mankote area. The neighbours had violated the ceasefire and resorted to small arms firing and mortar shelling. While Pakistan Army’s firing in Sunderbani-Nowshera sector left six security personnel injured, a week earlier.

Lives of hundreds of people living along the LoC in J-K get shattered each time shells start raining in these areas.

Civilians unnecessarily come under fire each time. Their cattle, homes and agricultural fields are at the highest risk during such cross border hostilities.

This year till now, there had been  more than 1,400 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Between January 1 and February 23 there had been a total of 646 incidents of ceasefire violations along the Indo-Pakistan International Border (IB) as well as the Line of Control (LoC) , Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik told Parliament in March.

While, last year, over 3,200 ceasefire violations were recorded by the Pakistan Army.