India, Pak Troops Exchange Fire In Poonch

India, Pak Troops Exchange Fire In Poonch

12 January 2013
Kashmir Times


Poonch: The tension between India and Pakistan continued to simmer as the troops of both sides exchanged fire targeting each other’s forwards posts at Line of Control (LoC) even on Saturday in Poonch district. However, the Indian side claimed to have foiled an infiltration bid by resorting to retaliatory fire by small arms after Pakistan troops targeted Indian forward posts to “facilitate infiltration of 6-7 persons to this side of Line of Control.” Intelligence sources revealed that around 8.30 PM this evening, the Pak troops resorted to unprovoked firing targeting nine Indian forward posts (from 471 to 477) under 13 Raj Rifles and 1 Maratha LI. The Indian posts being targeted included Chhatri, Atma, Helmet, Prakash Chatyal, Khera-I, Khera-II, Roshni and Gun Hill. “After exercising restraint for quite long, the Indian troops too retaliated with small arms on Pakistan forward posts from where the firing was resorted to. From Indian side, 100-150 illumination fires too were used to observe the suspicious movement. The monitoring of suspicious had become quite difficult in the wake of continuing cloudy weather, rains and pitch darkness. The exchange of firing continued till late evening,” the sources stated. According to sources, 12 Pakistan forward posts involved in firing on Indian posts included LP-I, LP-II, LP-III, Peer, Kanal, Barmoch, Jungle-I, Jungle-II, Dharmash, Trench, Dharmuchia and New Post. PRO Defence Col R K Palta, when contacted, however stated that the fresh infiltration bid was foiled by Indian troops in Poonch. “At around 9.45 PM, the Indian troops observed movement of 6-7 persons trying to infiltrate to this side. While Indian troops were closely watching their movement, the infiltrators opened fire which was retaliated by Indian side too with small arms. Following this, they returned to Pak side,” Col Palta said. On Friday also, cross-LoC firing was reported on at least eight border posts. Adding to the tension were reports of troop build-up on both sides of the border. India had reportedly sent requests to the Pakistani side for a flag meeting to de-escalate the tension on the LoC, but there has been no response as yet. In fact, Indian intelligence intercepts of communication at the Pakistani border posts revealed that the Pakistani Army cancelled all leaves and ordered its troops to report to duty. The Indian side has been bolstered with the presence of additional Border Action Task Force personnel. Surveillance has been heightened with both the Army and Air Force deploying unmanned aerial vehicles in the areas over Poonch and Rajouri sectors.