Jawan killed in LoC firing, India protests ahead of Pak talks

19 May 2008
The Indian Express
Arun Sharma

Jammu: Two days ahead of the scheduled visit of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Pakistan, an Indian soldier was killed today in firing from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, in another violation of the ceasefire between the two countries. Identifying the deceased as Naik Jayaswar of 2-8 Gorkha Rifles, Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Colonel S D Goswami said that there had been heavy unprovoked firing from the Pakistani side today morning. “However, there was no infiltration attempt. We did not notice any militant movement in the area also at the time,” he added. While Pakistan denied any firing from its side, India has lodged a protest on the issue. This was the second instance of unprovoked firing from the Pakistani side in the last five days, violating the five-year-old ceasefire along the international border and LoC. While there have been occasional incidents of small arms fire from across the LoC in the past — an Army Naik, Ajay Lama, was killed in one such firing in Mendhar sector in November last year — these were never taken as serious violations of the ceasefire until Pakistani troops resorted to heavy firing in the Tangdhar sector last week. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed concern over the ceasefire violation in Tangdhar as well as earlier in Samba, where heavily armed militants had crossed over after cutting the barbed wire fencing. Giving details of today’s firing, Lt Colonel Goswami said it started suddenly with small arms fire from the Pakistani side on Thip post — a forward Indian position — in the Mendhar sector. This was followed by heavy firing for at least 15 minutes. The spokesperson added that the Indian side did not retaliate.