Home Ministry asks Army to explain infiltration along LoC

28 September 2008
The Hindustan Times
Sumir Kaul

New Delhi: The Home Ministry has sought an explanation from the Army about the recent 'infiltration' of civilians through the barbed fence along the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir going un-noticed. Sources in the Ministry said the Army authorities have been given details about the incident when three families went 10 km inside the Indian side from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and reported to the police post. The Ministry questioned the vigilance at the borders and the safety about the efficacy of barbed wire fencing along the LoC as kids and old age people could cross un-noticed. The note to the Army was sent through the Defence Ministry, the sources said. No one from the army was available for comments. The Jammu and Kashmir Home Department had apprised the Union Home Ministry about the incident when 12 people, including five children and an aged lady, crossed over the LoC in the wee hours of September 26 in Tanghdar area in Karnah sector of North Kashmir. The 12 people, including five children and an eight- month old toddler, reached the police post, located 10 km, away from the LoC and presented themselves. The people had been detained and an appropriate action is being taken against them as some of them were Pakistani citizens, the sources said. The Army was trying to put a brave face and were conveying unofficially that the families had reported to their outpost, a charge denied by the members to the police. The families, in their statement to police, said that they had migrated to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) between 1988 to 1996 and settled there after marriage. The Police authorities reported the matter to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office and the Pakistani citizens had been served a notice, they said. This was not an isolated incident as infiltration by civilians had become a normal affair along the Line of Control (LoC). Such incidents were reported in 2006 from the north Kashmir area but came to an abrupt halt after the state police started registering cases against them and also asked the Centre to formulate a policy. However, two years since, the Union Home Ministry was unable to formulate any policy on such 'family infiltrations' from PoK.