Pak Resumes Heavy Firing, Shelling On LoC

Pak Resumes Heavy Firing, Shelling On LoC

2 September 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: After a lull of three days, Pakistan Army today again opened heavy firing and shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote and parts of Mendhar sector in Poonch district sending a fresh wave of panic among the people living in forward areas including worst affected Deri Dabsi. Troops, who retaliated the firing effectively from this side, were also conducting searches in forward areas anticipating infiltration attempts from across the Line of Control (LoC) under the cover of firing by Pakistan Army. Official sources told the Excelsior that Pakistani posts of Goga, Cheer and Tikri manned by 656 Mujahid Regiment started heavy firing and shelling in Balakote and parts of Mendhar sector in Poonch district at 11.15 am. Indian troops retaliated with equal caliber of weapons and other devices. “Intensity of firing and shelling from across the LoC was very high during initial one and a half hours after which it came down to medium and small arms firing that continued till late this evening,” sources said, adding that some shells fell close to populated villages triggering panic among the people putting up there. However, there were no casualties or damage of Army or civilians on Indian side in Pakistan firing and shelling. Casualties, if any, on the other side were not known. The last incident of Pakistan firing had been reported on intervening night of August 29 and 30 at Pallanwalla sector in Akhnoor, Sabjian and Hamirpur sectors in Poonch district. An Army jawan was injured in Pakistan firing in Pallanwalla sector. This was 46th ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army in the past 27 days in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri apart from Pallanwalla, all falling along the LoC. Sources said Pakistan Army was now also trying to push infiltrators inside the Indian territory from launching pads across Poonch district under the curb of firing. Few days back, there had been reports of infiltration attempts in Manjakote sector of Rajouri district. They added that Pakistan Army was getting desperate as a number of militants were awaiting infiltration from their side. However, the Pakistan Army hasn’t succeeded in their plot to push ultras in view of high alert and strict surveillance maintained by the troops. Besides attempts to push militants, Pakistan Army was also trying to trigger migration of civilians from the forward villages along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts. However, the villagers despite suffering eight non-fatal casualties in firing from across the LoC, have been staying bravely in the forward villages. There has been no migration from any of the forward villages, sources said, adding the people have assured troops that they would fully support them by staying in their houses notwithstanding heavy firing by the Pakistani troops. Firing and shelling that amounted to violation of ceasefire agreement between Indian and Pakistan were started by the latter on August 6 and continued almost regularly till intervening night of August 29 and 30. Indian side has given very effective and strong response to Pakistan, sources said.