140 to cross LoC in Poonch today
4 June 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: A record number of 140 civilians from two sides would cross Line of Control (LoC) at Chakan-Da-Bagh during fortnightly opening of the point tomorrow. While 70 persons would cross over to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) from Poonch, an equal number of civilians would come to this side from across the LoC, official sources said. Out of 70 civilians leaving for PoK from Poonch, 15 are new faced while 55 others would return to their houses in PoK after spending nearly a month or a fortnight in different parts of this district. Of 55 PoK civilians, returning home tomorrow, 41 had come to this side on May 22 and 14 others on May 8. From PoK side also, 70 civilians would cross LoC to reach Poonch. Authorities here were yet to get details as to how many of them are new faced and how many are returning homes, the sources said, adding the details would be known only tomorrow morning. The point will remain open from 10 am to 5 pm in view of a large number of crossing by the people. Documents of the civilians are scrutinised by both sides at the LoC before letting them in. Chakan Da Bagh and Tata Pani are the two points in Poonch district which are opened every fortnight for movement of civilians from the two sides. The two points were opened in November last year after earthquake on October 8 caused extensive damage in parts of Jammu and Kashmir as well as PoK. Meanwhile, militants last night lobbed a grenade and followed it by firing on Dak Bungalow in Mendhar tehsil of this district reportedly targeting a leader of ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Murtaza Khan. Khan, however, escaped unhurt in the attack as he succeeded in leaving the Dak Bungalow and reached a safer area during the attack. Sources said two unidentified militants first lobbed a grenade towards Dak Bungalow, Mendhar and later fired few shots on one of the room from a pistol at 10 pm last night. The militants managed to escape taking cover of darkness. Security forces and police rushed to the spot and launched a search operation in the area. Some houses were also searched but the militants remained untraced. The PDP leader was escorted to safety this morning. According to sources, the militants involved in the grenade attack and subsequent firing appeared to be locals as they were aware of the PDP leader's movement.