Two major intrusion bids on IB, LoC; one killed

Two major intrusion bids on IB, LoC; one killed

19 August 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Pakistan tonight made two major infiltration attempts at Garkhal in Akhnoor sector on the International Border (IB) at Balnoi in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district on the Line of Control (LoC). The BSF was reported to have gunned down one of the infiltrators in Garkhal. Official sources said the Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy firing in forward area of Garkhal in Akhnoor sector at 10.15 pm. The Rangers made an attempt under the covering fire to push a group of five to seven infiltrator into Indian side. The BSF jawans fired back. Heavy exchange of gun-fighting continued for about an hour in which at least one infiltrator was killed. Other intruders were reported to have escaped back under the cover of darkness and firing by the Pakistan side. The BSF didn’t suffer any casualties or damage. The firing stopped in the midnight. Though the Rangers have fired on forward Indian posts and violated ceasefire on the IB in Jammu sector a number of times during past few days, this was for the first time when a major attempt was made to push militants into this side. The BSF have launched a search operation in Garkhal and surrounding areas to ensure that the militants didn’t manage to sneak-in. The searches were in progress when the reports last came in. Pakistan Army tonight again resorted to heavy firing on the Line of Control (LoC) at Balnoi in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district amidst heavy rainfall and fog with reports that the troops from across the LoC might have tried to facilitate infiltration attempt but failed. Official reports said Pakistan Army started heavy firing on Indian positions at Roshni Post, Chajjaman and Gun Hill in Balnoi area of Krishna Ghati sector at 8.15 am. There was heavy rainfall and fog in the area when Pakistan Army opened firing, violating ceasefire. Indian side retaliated anticipating infiltration attempt by the militants under the cover of heavy firing. The firing continued till 9 pm. Reports said the militants, if any in the area, would have retreated as there was no scope of infiltration. Earlier also, Pakistan Army had opened firing and violated ceasefire at Krishna Ghati sector during past few days. Meanwhile, the BSF has strengthened its positions all along the border especially in vulnerable areas of RS Pura and Samba sectors in the wake of heavy firing by Pakistan triggering panic among the villagers putting up in forward areas. Official sources told the Excelsior that the BSF has created a second line of defence has been created at some places on the borders especially in Abdullian, Arnia, Pansar etc, which had repeatedly been targeted by the Rangers over the past few days on the International Border (IB). 'The BSF was maintaining a high alert all along the IB. Two days of lull on the IB was being attributed to Eid celebrations as security forces anticipated that the Rangers could resume the firing anytime as they were frustrated over detection of the tunnel at Chechwal in Samba sector’’, sources said. They added that the BSF has adequately strengthened its positions in all forward areas on the IB to thwart any mischief by the Rangers. They pointed out that second line of defence would not only strengthen the BSF positions but also protect the people living in forward areas. Police stations falling in the border areas have also started patrolling in their areas to check any unwarranted movement and boost morale of the people, who were fearing trouble from across the border going by the way the Rangers had resorted to heavy firing over the past fortnight. Sources said though the BSF has further strengthened its positions in Samba and RS Pura sectors, it was not taking any chance in other border areas of Jammu like Domana, Kanachak, Pargwal and Akhnoor, where the jawans were already maintaining a high alert. A BSF jawan has been killed and three other injured in the firing so far. Reports, however, said that Pakistan has also suffered heavy losses in retaliatory firing by the BSF. The Rangers have violated ceasefire seven times during past fortnight on the IB and thrice on the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch sector. Sources said the BSF authorities have submitted a detailed report to their Headquarters in New Delhi about frequent spells of firing and ceasefire violations by the Rangers on IB in Jammu sector forcing BSF to retaliate to silence Pakistani guns. Meanwhile, BSF and police officers besides the civil administration continued to take rounds of forward villages to review the situation and inter-act with the people. The officers have assured the people of full protection, a result of which the villagers have decided not to migrate though some elderly people, who have their houses some distance short of the border, kept on shifting to safer areas in the night and return to their houses in forward areas during the day. The people, however, feared that if the ceasefire breaks, they would face the worst situation again. 'We will have to migrate to safe areas in that case as Pakistan used to fire on villages and scores of people were killed and injured in such firing and shelling in the past especially before the ceasefire came into force in November 2003', they said. 'Government had promised us to give lands at safe places nearly 8 years ago, but they have not fulfilled it and now we again face the same situation,' they added.