A 21-year-old Indian Army soldier was killed in Pakistani shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir early on Friday, prompting India to retaliate in equal measure.
The killed soldier was identified as sepoy Rahul Bhairu Sulagekar, according to officials.
Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said on Friday Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation along LoC in Krishna Ghati (KG) sector of Poonch district at about 2:30am.
“Indian Army retaliated befittingly. During the ceasefire violation, a soldier was martyred,” Lt Col Anand said.
“On the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, Pak Army violated ceasefire accompanied by suspicious movement of Pak Army abetted terrorists in Krishna Ghati Sector. Observing suspicious movement, effective engagement of terrorists and Pak posts was carried out by our alert troops,” he said.
Sulagekar sustained gunshot wounds in the ensuing exchange of fire and was evacuated to the nearest medical aid centre. However, Sulagekar succumbed to his injuries, he added.
The soldier belonged to Uchagaon village of Karnataka’s Belgavi district and is survived by his mother Geeta.
“He was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” said Lt Col Anand.
Lt Gen Harsha Gupta, GOC of White Knight Corps, and all ranks saluted Sulagekar, who made the supreme sacrifice on the Line of Control (LoC), said Lt Col Anand. They also offered condolences to his family.
The spokesperson also said that Pakistan again opened heavy fire in Krishna Ghati sector on Friday.
“After early morning ceasefire violation, again at about 1145 hours (11.45am) Pakistan initiated small arms firing and shelling with mortars in the Krishna Ghati sector. Indian Army is retaliating befittingly,” he added.