Airspace violation in RS Pura sector21 December 2010
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: A group of six militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit tried to infiltrate into Indian territory from the Line of Control (LoC) from Karma Wali Gali in Peer Badesar area of Keri sector in wee hours of this morning but were intercepted by the troops between LoC and fencing leading to killing of one infiltrator so far while a search was on for the others. On the International Border, three helicopters of Pakistan Army intruded into Indian airspace briefly this afternoon. The airspace violation has been viewed very seriously as it came amid reports that Pakistan was plotting major infiltration attempts on the LoC and IB in the coming foggy nights. Official sources told the Excelsior that a group of six LeT militants, equipped with a major consignment of arms and ammunition, tried to infiltrate into the Indian territory from forward village of Karma Wali Gali in Peer Badesar area of Keri sector at about 2 am today taking advantage of adverse weather conditions. However, the alert troops, who were already awaiting infiltration attempt by the militants from Pakistan side after the onset of winter, observed movement of the militants and intercepted them between the LoC and the fencing. Troops opened firing to neutralize the militants. Exchange of firing between the two sides continued till late this morning. Body of one of the slain militant was recovered from the site of gun battle this morning along with one AK-56 rifle, one radio set, four Chinese grenades, 300 ammunition rounds, one Motorola mobile handset, fresh cooked food from Pakistan, medicines kit etc. Sources said the blood trains were also observed at the spot near fencing, which indicated that two to three militants were injured in the encounter. Security forces and police in entire Keri sector to trace the militants and ensure that they didn't manage to infiltrate into this side have launched a massive search operation. Reports said that two to three militants were still holed-up near the fencing awaiting an opportunity to sneak-in. A strong cordon is being maintained by the troops to thwart their plot. Reports added that couple of injured ultras might have escaped back to Pakistan after being hit by the bullets. Identity of slain militant has not been established but he was believed to be a Pakistani. Recovery of fresh cooked food and Pakistan made medicines have confirmed that the militants had been launched into this side by Pakistan Army from the launching pad opposite Peer Badesar. The militants tried to infiltrate taking cover of fog and extreme chilly weather conditions prevailing in the border belt of Rajouri but failed due to alertness of the Army personnel. Sources said all six militants, launched into this side by Pakistan Army and LeT commanders, seemed to be Pakistanis and had heavy firearms with them. They were determined to infiltrate and fought for several hours. Troops didn't suffer any casualties in the operation. As reported earlier by the Excelsior, a large number of militants, mostly Pakistanis, have been brought very close to the launching pads opposite LoC and IB in Jammu sector by Pakistan Army, Rangers and militant commanders in a bid to push them into Indian territory under the cover of foggy nights of the winter. Army and BSF have been maintaining a very high alert to thwart the intrusion bids by the militants. Sources said nearly 300 militants were stationed at the launching pads across LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and IB opposite Jammu sector from Kathua to Akhnoor. In another incident, three Pakistan Army choppers flew over Indian airspace from Chapra, Khatmarian in Abdullian sector of RS Pura at 12.50 am today. They were in the Indian airspace for about two to three minutes before disappearing from Nandpur. All three helicopters were flying in formation. It couldn't be gathered immediately as to whether the airspace violation was intentional or unintentional. Possibility of Pakistan Army spies having tried to capture photos of the border areas for future infiltration attempts by the militants is not being ruled out. On July 17 this year, a domestic plane of Pakistan had violated Indian airspace. However, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Pakistan had admitted the violation and claimed that it occurred due to bad weather. The DGCA had apologized for the incident. Pakistan Army today didn't come forward with any statement on the airspace violation.