Govt Puts Contingency Plan In Place Along IB, LoC

Govt Puts Contingency Plan In Place Along IB, LoC

18 October 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: The State Government today put a Contingency Plan in force all along the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC) in view of escalated tensions between India and Pakistan as Pakistan Army and Rangers had been resorting to heavy shelling and firing in the Jammu region for past several days creating a wave of panic among the border villagers. Four jawans of the Border Security Force (BSF) were injured-two of them last night at RS Pura sector and two others late tonight in Arnia sector as Pakistani Rangers continued heavy shelling and firing all along the International Border at RS Pura, Arnia, Hiranagar, Samba and Pargwal sectors throughout the last night. After day’s lull, the Rangers resumed mortar shelling again this evening, which continued till midnight tonight when the reports last came in. The BSF apprehended a Pakistani national in Ramgarh sector of Samba district this evening. Army thwarted an infiltration attempt on the LoC at Chajja Man in Balnoi sector of Poonch district. Divisional Commissioner, Jammu Shantmanu, who visited various villages of Pargwal sector, which were heavily shelled by the Rangers yesterday causing injuries to five civilians including three children and two women, told the Excelsior that the Contingency Plan has been updated and enforced all along the IB and the LoC to ensure safety and protection of the border villagers. “The Contingency Plan was already there but it hadn’t been used after India and Pakistan reached ceasefire agreement in November 2003. Now, when Pakistan has again been resorting to shelling and firing along LoC and IB, we have directed the Deputy Commissioners to update the Contingency Plan as per the present requirement and immediately enforce it,” he said, adding the plan has been updated and enforced. The Divisional Commissioner said the Contingency Plan included identification of Government buildings to shift the civilians if the shelling and firing didn’t cease, providing the people ration, rescue of civilians trapped in the firing, procuring boats for Pargwal island for the people to open an alternate route as the road there falls under firing range of Pakistan and other requirements of the border villagers in case of an eventuality. Official sources said the Contingency Plan had to be updated as the population in border villages had risen when it was last used during Kargil war tensions. “Now more buildings have to be identified if the people were required to be shifted to safer areas,” they said, adding similarly other facilities were to be updated, which has almost been done and the new plan put in place and will be used if a grave situation developed on the border. Sources said three boats were being purchased for the people of Pargwal sector to rescue them to safety from river Chenab in case of heavy firing and shelling from across the border as main road of Pargwal falls under the firing range of Pakistan. The funds for purchase of boats have been released by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand from his Constituency Development Fund. The Government today directed the Irrigation and Flood Control Department to immediately procure the boats. Sources said the Government has asked the Deputy Commissioners to take all other measures under the Contingency Plan and enforce them. Meanwhile, after last night’s heavy firing and shelling, Pakistan Rangers this evening again fired mortar shells and rained bullets from medium to heavy fire arms at Budhwar and Tent Post in Arnia sector, Nikowal, Sangral, Mangral, Allah Mai De Kothe, Jai Kishan, Jugnu Chak and Nawa Pind in RS Pura, 6 R and Suchaitpur Kullian in Samba, Regal and Khwara in Ghagwal sector, Pansar in Hiranagar sector, Najwal, Jaman Bela and Nikowal villages and forward posts of the BSF in Pargwal sector and Kanachak BD Forward in Kanachak sector. Two BSF jawans were tonight injured at Budhwar post in Arnia sector. They have been identified as Sarvodh Kumar and Sameer Ghosh of 193 battalion. They have been admitted in the Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu. Last night also, Pakistan continued firing in almost same sectors at Hiranagar, Samba and RS Pura sectors. The firing ceased at 6.30 pm. The BSF retaliated effectively last night as well as tonight. Two BSF jawans-Gagan Thakur and Hadsa sustained minor injuries in the firing in RS Pura sector last night. However, both the brave jawans were back to work after getting treatment in the hospital. In Forward area of Chajja Man along the LoC in Balnoi sector of Poonch district, Army opened firing at 7 pm after observing movement of a group of militants trying to infiltrate into the Indian territory. The militants were forced to retreat to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) from where they had been launched, sources said. The BSF this evening apprehended a Pakistani national at Malu Chak Border out Post (BoP) in Ramgarh sector of Samba district. He disclosed his identity as Abzal. He was being questioned to ascertain reasons for his infiltration. The BSF tonight handed over the Pakistani national to Ramgarh police for questioning.