STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Following a pattern of gradual increase in cases of cease fire violations, Pakistani troops opened heavy gun fire at 10 Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to push in terrorists into the Indian Territory, army officials said on Sunday.
The Pakistani firing began late Saturday in Krishna Ghati sector in the mountainous district of Poonch, about 250 km from the winter capital, and lasted till Sunday morning. The fire was noticed as coming from Paki posts Mirza 1, Mirza 2 and ‘OP’ posts in PoK opposite Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch. There is a gradual increase in the frequency and quantum of Pakistani fire in violation of the cease fire truce. The very anniversary of the day of truce on 26th Nov, witnessed blatant violation and fire by medium and heavy machine guns from PoK by Pakistani troops. Being in-effective it drew no response from Indian troops.
In the current incident “They used small arms, light machineguns and rockets. The firing was rapid and heavy up to 11:00 PM on Saturday, thereafter, it became intermittent and continued till 7:00 AM,” on Sunday, an official said.
Indian troops retaliated in a calculated restrained manner “to silence the Pakistani guns”, he said. Thereafter, the exchange of fire has stopped. “Ours was a measured response aimed at preventing infiltration and silence Pakistani firing,” an official said.
The army said the motive of the firing was to provide fire cover to a group of around 16 terrorists trying to cross the LoC to get into Indian Territory by keeping the Indian troops engaged and distracted from the constant vigil.
Though the army said it was apparently an unsuccessful bid, however an officer said they were still searching the area for any lead to find out if any infiltrator sneaked in. “These increased incidents, read with the reports of 2,500 trained insurgents waiting in training camps for an opportunity to sneak in and infiltrate before the passes get closed indicates a deliberate sinister design” said a veteran who has served in CI operations in this area for long. “reading this with Paki invitation to separatists and their OGWs demand of diluting AFSPA, makes the scene clearer-which must not be taken lightly” he added.
In another incident, a soldier on patrol near the Salotri post in Krishna Ghati sector was injured in a landmine blast Saturday evening.
The army blamed it on a stray landmine that could have drifted due rains but people in Mendhar town were apprehensive that these landmines were planted by “Pakis-tani agents” to inflict casualties on the Indian Army.
More than 50 cases of ceasefire violations have taken place this year.
India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire on the frontiers in November 2003.