Keralite soldier martyred in shootout with Pak army

Keralite soldier martyred in shootout with Pak army
Lance Naik Antony Sebastian KM

Jammu: A Keralite soldier was killed and another injured on Monday by a Pakistani sniper along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Two army personnel fell to sniping in Sunderbani and Noushera sectors of Rajouri district on Saturday and Sunday, while an army porter lost his life in a similar attack in Akhnoor sector of Jammu district a day earlier.

Lance Naik Antony Sebastian KM was critically injured and succumbed to gunshot injuries.

Brave soldier

Antony Sebastian KM, 34, belonged to Manakunnam Village in Udaymperoor, Ernakulam.  

“Lance Naik Antony Sebastian KM was a brave and sincere soldier,” the Army said in a statement. “The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty.”

At Udayamperoor on the suburbs of Kochi, a pall of gloom hangs over Sebastian's 'Yesubhavan' home. His wife Anna Diana Joseph has not been able to accept the sad news yet.

“He had come home on October 2,” Sebastian's mother Sheela said. “Only the other day he told us he can return home after seeking (voluntary) retirement.”

Sebastian's only sister Nivya said: “He had planned to retire in 2017, when he completed 15 years. Somehow he could not. If he had returned then, he would have been alive with us now in this house.”

Sebastian's son Aidan, 7, stays close to his mother, unable to comprehend what's going on. He studies in Class II at the Prabhat School.

Ceasefire violation

Around 5.15 pm on Monday, Pakistan Army resorted to an unprovoked ceasefire violation in Krishna Ghati Sector (Mendhar) on the Line of Control (LoC), an army spokesperson said.

Havildar Mari Muthu D was critically injured in the firing, he said, adding that immediate resuscitation and medical aid was provided to the soldier and he has been evacuated to Military Hospital, Poonch.

"The Indian Army has retaliated strongly and effectively on Pakistan Army posts. The martyrdom of the Indian Army soldier will not go in vain," he said.

On Sunday, Naik Gosavi Keshav Somgir, 29, was killed in unprovoked ceasefire violation in Noushera sector and on Saturday Rifleman Varun Kattal, 21, a resident of Mawa-Rajpura area of Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, was killed in Sunderbani sector.

Earlier, an army porter lost his life in Akhnoor sector on Friday.

The officials said Indian troops guarding the border retaliated strongly and effectively following the latest ceasefire violation.

The casualties suffered by Pakistani troops were not known immediately but several of their posts were hit in the retaliatory action, the officials said.

On October 21, three soldiers of Jammu and Kashmir light infantry regiment and two heavily-armed infiltrators, believed to be members of the Border Action Team (BAT) of the Pakistan army, and terrorists, were killed in Sunderbani sector.

On November 6, a soldier was injured when he was hit by a sniper from across the border at Kalal in Noushera sector of Rajouri, while a BSF jawan was injured in a separate incident of firing by Pakistan along the LoC in the Manjakote area of the Rajouri-Poonch sector Friday.

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