Heavy Pak firing in Poonch sector

Heavy Pak firing in Poonch sector

17 October 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Neeraj Rohmetra

Jammu: Pakistan Army this evening resorted to heavy firing at forward Indian posts at Gountrian in Poonch sector reportedly with a view to push militants into this side of the Line of Control (LoC). Official reports said Pakistan Army started heavy firing on NPP and other posts at forward area of Gountrian in Poonch sector at 5.50 pm today. New Digging and Machi Morha posts of Pakistan were targeting the forward Indian posts on the LoC. Confirming firing and ceasefire violation by the Pakistani troops, Army spokesman Col RK Palta said the Indian troops have 'calibrated, calculated and adequate response' to Pakistan firing. There were no casualties or damage on Indian side in the firing, he added. Col Palta, however, declined to say whether the militants made any infiltration during firing by the Pakistan Army. Reports said initially the firing was resorted to with medium to heavy fire arms while later it came down to small arms. Intermittent firing continued till 9 pm. Sources said a group of militants reportedly tried to intrude into this side under the cover of Pakistan firing but their attempt was foiled due to effective retaliatory firing brought down by the troops. Troops would tomorrow lodge a strong protest with Pakistan for firing on Indian posts through hotline. Few days back, Pakistan Army had fired upon Army and BSF posts in Keri sector of Rajouri district with a view to push militants into this side. However, Army had denied firing by the Pakistani troops. In the firing, BSF jawan Surjit Singh had gone missing but returned the next day. Security agencies had reports that a number of militants were camping along LoC and International Border on Pakistan side awaiting an opportunity to sneak into this side. However, they have been unable to infiltrate due to strict surveillance maintained by Army and BSF. Sources anticipated that militants could step up attempts to infiltrate into this side before closure of passes due to snow in December. In view of this, Army had been maintaining high alert on the LoC to ensure that the militants didn't manage to sneak-in. Not only the LoC, but even on the IB, the militants have gathered in large number on Pakistan side and could try to enter into this side. The BSF was already on high alert after the detection of a tunnel dug by the Pakistani authorities inside the Indian territory at forward village of Chechwal in Samba sector.