Rockets, mortars fired on LoC by Pak Army2 December 2010
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: Pakistan Army once again resorted to heavy firing on Indian positions on the Line of Control (LoC) in Balnoi area of Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch district this afternoon in an apparent attempt to push militants into this side taking advantage of adverse weather conditions and dense forests. Twice Pakistan Army violated the cease-fire on the LoC, which had come into force between India and Pakistan in November 2003, during the day today. Indian side retaliated to neutralize the militants and ensured that they didnít manage to intrude into this side. Official sources said a big group of militants hiding in Mandol forests of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) opposite Balnoi area of Krishna Ghati sector were launched from the forests to cross into Indian territory under the cover of forests and adverse weather conditions in the entire area. Pakistan Army started small arms firing at 2 pm from their forward posts around Mandol forests on the LoC targeting Indian posts of Chaja, Man, Kranti, Kirpan and Ghoda. The small arms firing continued for about half an hour. At 3.30 pm, Pakistani troops started heavy arms firing using mortar and rocket shells besides the Universal Machine Gun (UMG) with a view to divert the attention of Army from the infiltration route of the militants. The heavy firing from Pakistan side also continued till 5.30 pm. Sources said despite firing of mortars and rockets by Pakistan Army, the Indian side retaliated aiming firing at the directions from where the ultras could breach the LoC. Firing by the Indian troops ensured that the ultras didnít manage to enter into this side. No casualties were reported on the Indian side despite heavy firing as the troops were maintaining a very high alert in their forward posts. Cease-fire was violated twice by the Pakistan Army for which a protest is being lodged with them by the Indian troops. However, according to sources, the cease-fire violation has become a regular phenomenon by Pakistan Army in Mendhar, Balakote, Mankote, Krishna Ghati and Jhalas in Poonch district as they were under tremendous pressure from their bosses to push militants into Jammu and Kashmir at any cost. Generally, the infiltration attempts are facilitated by Pakistan Army either in late hours of the night or wee hours of the morning. However, Pakistan Army today tried to push the militants during the day to catch the troops unaware. However, they failed in their plot as the troops on this side spotted the infiltrating militants and forced them to retrieve to their launching pads, located in Mandol forest area of Pakistan. DIG Rajouri-Poonch range SD Singh said there was heavy concentration of the militants across the LoC and they are making every possible attempt to infiltrate into this side. However, he added, majority of intrusion bids have been successfully thwarted by the troops. According to Intelligence inputs and reports of security agencies, 250 to 300 militants were camping at the launching pads close to the LoC and the International Border (IB) in Jammu sector plotting to infiltrate into this side. Majority of the ultras were affiliated to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen outfits. Most of them were Pakistanis while rest were the locals. Sources said the infiltration bids could go up during December and January when border areas in Jammu sector are engulfed with a thick fog making visibility very poor or, during some days, virtually negligible. The militants would try to take advantage of fog to sneak into this side, they added. A similar strategy had been used by the militants for infiltration last winter but it was successfully foiled by Army and BSF. The militant commanders of LeT and HM were sending frantic calls to their mentors in Pakistan and PoK asking for immediate infiltration of militants with weaponry and cash as they were badly running short of manpower and arms and ammunition in view of killing, arrest and surrenders of a number of ultras of both the outfits. Army and BSF were already maintaining a high alert on both LoC and IB as they were anticipating a harsh winter from infiltration point of view. Troops have already deployed sophisticated gadgetry to check intrusion bids during the fog.