Pak Spreads Heavy Firing, Shelling To Rajouri Sector

Pak Spreads Heavy Firing, Shelling To Rajouri Sector

24 August 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Pakistan Army tonight opened up Rajouri sector for the second time during ongoing skirmishes along the Line of Control (LoC) by pounding forward areas with mortars and heavy fire arms at Manjakote and Keri sectors, causing injuries to a boy. Pakistan Army had earlier in the morning opened firing in Poonch sector. Army, meanwhile, recovered an old rocket at Hamilton bridge in Rajouri town and defused it. Official sources told the Excelsior that Pakistan Army fired mortar shells and resorted to firing with automatic and heavy fire arms at 7 pm today targeting half a dozen forward Indian posts and civilian areas at Kanga Gali, Tarkundi Gali and Baryani Gali in Dorimal forward area of Manjakote sector and Chiti Bakri in Chingus area of Keri sector in Rajouri district. The Indian side retaliated immediately with equal caliber of weapons, leading to heavy exchanges that continued till late tonight sending a wave of panic and fear among the people putting up in forward areas of Manjakote sector, bordering villages Tarkundi and Dadot of Balakote sector in Poonch district. Sources said several bullets and mortar shells either landed inside the villages or very close to the villages triggering resentment among the people, who demonstrated against Pakistan Army for trying to kill them. The villagers demonstrated after 17 years old boy Mohammad Khalil son of Abdul Gani was injured after being hit by splinter of the mortar shells near forward post of Chittar Paul at Chiti Bakri in Chingus area of Keri sector at 7 pm. Security forces and police shifted the injured to District Hospital Rajouri. SSP Rajouri Mubassir Latifi said police was maintaining a close vigil on the situation. Police was in touch with the villagers and has been asking them to stay put in the villages as they would be fully protected. Mr Latifi said the injured boy Khalil, in his statement to police, has confirmed that he was injured in firing by the Pakistani troops. He added that the injured boy has been referred to Government Medical College, Jammu. Sources described Pakistan firing in Manjakote sector as completely unprovoked and warned of more strong retaliation from the Indian Army in future if any attempt was made from across the LoC to target civil areas. Though this was second ceasefire violation in Manjakote sector, this was, however, for the first time that Pakistan Army resorted to such a heavy firing and shelling for more than couple of hours. The forward areas of Manjakote sector, where Pakistan Army resorted to firing and shelling, were at the border of Balakote sector in Poonch district, which had been witnessing continued firing for past over fortnight. On August 20 morning, Pakistan Army had fired two 82mm mortar shells at Peer Gali and Ramgarh in Mangalnarh area of Manjakote sector in Rajouri district. The shells had landed close to civil areas but failed to cause any damage. Sources said after 16 days long consecutive firing and shelling in almost entire Poonch district including Balakote, Mendhar, Hamirpur and Poonch, Pakistan Army has been trying to spread the trouble to neighbouring border district of Rajouri, which was evident from their firing in Manjakote sector. However, Indian Army has been giving effective retaliation at all the places including Manjakote sector. Sources said that Pakistan Army was frustrated by the response of Indian troops. Pakistan has suffered heavy losses on their side in retaliatory firing by the troops. Meanwhile, Pakistan Army again violated ceasefire by resorting to heavy firing and shelling in Shahpur Kerni and other forward areas of Poonch sector this morning. Sources said after overnight lull on the LoC, Pakistan Army started heavy firing on forward Indian positions and civilian areas at Shahpur Kerni and surrounding villages in Poonch sector at 7 am today. The Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to heavy exchange of firing for 40 minutes after which firing stopped from Pakistan. Pakistan Army used heavy fire arms and mortar shells in 40 minutes firing. Some civilian areas were also targeted. However, there were no casualties or damage on the Indian side. Pakistan Army was also targeting civilian areas, sources said, adding this has created strong resentment among the people. So far, seven civilians and three Army jawans have been injured in Pakistan firing and shelling in Poonch sector. With today’s incidents of firing and shelling in Poonch and Rajouri districts, 35 ceasefire violations have been reported from Pakistan side along the Line of Control (LoC) during past 16 days. The heavy firing and shelling had started after the killing of five Indian soldiers in Sarla battalion area in Poonch sector on the intervening night of August 5 and 6. Meanwhile, Army today recovered a rocket from a Nullah under Hamilton bridge near Mini Stadium in Rajouri town. A Bomb Disposal Squad defused the rocket, which appeared to be an old one.