Sources said the Indian Army action came after three jawans were injured in firing by the Pakistani troops at Indian posts in Poonch this morning. This was the eleventh instance of ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the past five days.
Army sources also said that the strong response is aimed at conveying "in no uncertain terms India's intention to protect its borders".
This morning, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while delivering his Independence Day address, sent Pakistan a stern message saying it must prevent use of its territory for any anti-India activity for relations to improve. (Read) | (Full text of PM's Independence Day address)
According to sources, the Pakistani forces began firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote belt of Poonch from 7.30 am on Thursday. They reportedly fired from small arms and automatic weapons and also resorted to mortar shelling.
The Army retaliated in equal measure, resulting in heavy exchange of fire on both sides. The injured jawans, sources say, could not be evacuated due to the intense firing. One Army porter who had also sustained injuries has died.
Firing was also reported in Mendhar sub-sector of Poonch district on Wednesday night but there were no casualties.
In a separate incident, the Border Security Force (BSF) said on Thursday that it had foiled an attempt by a Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) to attack a forward post along the Line of Control. Surveillance equipment detected the Pakistani team approaching the post in Krishnagati sub-sector in Poonch at around 11:30 pm on Wednesday. Alert jawans of BSF's 135 battalion, manning the post, fired back, resulting in the BAT team escaping towards the Pakistani side.