In an act of extreme cowardice that demands immediate and utter retribution, the Pakistan Army has targeted Indian civilians in its continuous ceasefire violations, tragically killing a 9-month-old baby and 5-year-old child - siblings - and their mother, in Poonch.
J&K Police officials have confirmed the deaths of the three innocent Indians by the Pakistan firing in Salotri village of Jhalas area in Jammu and Kashmir.
Simultaneous with the release of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan from Pakistani custody in a so-called 'peace gesture' by Imran Khan's government, the Pak Army fired a shell that exploded inside the young family's house.
Besides the family, four others, including two civilians and two Army Jawans, have been injured in the firing.
A civilian in the Poonch sector in Kashmir speaking to Republic TV said, "Firing began from evening 6 pm by Pakistan and went on till 9-10 pm. The firing from Pakistan's side blasted inside a house while the family was having a meal."
"The mother and her two kids are dead. The father of the kids is injured. Two-three houses adjoined are destroyed. Our house is close to the border and Pakistan is destroying, abusing us. We are poor people, how do we save us?" said another villager.
The Pakistan Army has violated the ceasefire for over 60 times during the last one week by targeting over 70 civilian and forward areas along the LoC in Poonch, Rajouri, Jammu and Baramulla districts of Jammu and Kashmir, in which one woman was killed and 9 persons were injured.
In view of the prevailing situation, authorities have ordered temporary closure of educational institutions in a 5-km radius along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts.
They have asked all border dwellers to remain inside their homes. Amid high tension along the LoC, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh accompanied by the White Knight Corps Commander, Lt Gen Paramjit Singh visited forward posts in Rajouri Sector to review the operational preparedness on Thursday.
The year 2018 had witnessed the highest number of ceasefire violation, numbering 2,936 by Pakistani troops, in the last 15 years.
Pakistan continues to violate the 2003 ceasefire agreement with India despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the pact during flag meetings between the two sides.
(With PTI inputs)