Major ceasefire violation by Pak Army at Haji Peer23 December 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Pakistan Army resorted to major ceasefire violation at South of Haji Peer in snow clad mountains falling under Sabjian area of Poonch district this afternoon causing minor damage to some Indian posts. Troops replied the firing effectively to silence the guns across the Line of Control (LoC). Firing continued for more than 50 minutes. This was 42nd ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army during the current year, an Army official said. He added that Pakistan Army started heavy firing with Machine and Pika Guns at Loona Wali in South of Haji Peer at Sabjian in Poonch district at 1.20 pm. Initially, Pakistan Army fired with Machine and Pika guns but later used Rocket Projectile Guns (RPGs) targeting Indian posts. 'We also fired in retaliation to silence Pakistani guns. Firing from both sides stopped at 2.10 pm’’, the Army official said, adding that troops didn’t suffer any casualties but there was minor damage to some forward posts of the troops in the firing. 'We are lodging strong protest with Pakistan Army on hotline. The protest would be lodged either in the midnight tonight or early hours of tomorrow morning’’, he said. Describing ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army as totally unprovoked, the Army official said no infiltration attempt was visible during firing from across the LoC. 'There was no movement of militants during firing by Pakistan Army. It was simply an act of ceasefire violation’’, he said pointing out that the firing could have been an act of vengeance due to yesterday’s casualty suffered either by a terrorist or a Pakistan Army soldier in retaliatory firing by the Army during infiltration attempt by a group of three Pakistan ultras at Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district. The Pakistan Army, according to the Army official, picked up an area where there was no possibility of either ceasefire violation or infiltration attempt. 'They wanted to catch troops unaware on this side but that was not the case. Troops were fully alert and they didn’t suffer any casualties. They also replied the firing effectively and silenced Pakistani guns’’, he said. He added that Pakistan Army fired 300 rounds of Machine Gun, 200 rounds of Pika Gun and seven rounds of RPG. 'Though mountain passes on the LoC in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri have closed due to snowfall, there were reports that the militants across the LoC were desperate to infiltrate from any available route’’, the Army official said, adding that the alert troops have not given any chance to the militants to sneak-in. He asserted that there had been no change in number of the militants across the LoC, which remained around 1500, who were fully geared up to sneak into this side but were finding it impossible to succeed. Only yesterday, three Pakistani militants had tried to infiltrate into this side from Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district under the cover of firing by Pakistan Army. Troops had thwarted the intrusion bid. Meanwhile, a HE-36 grenade was detected by people and recovered by police from Chilla Danga in Samba district this morning. The grenade was rusted, reports said. Meanwhile, forest fire in Balakote sector of Poonch district today spread further on the LoC leading to more mine explosions. The fire was fast engulfing to more areas on the LoC. However, there had been no casualties in the forest fire. Sources said the militants could try to infiltrate under the cover of fire but security forces were maintaining a high alert keeping such a scenario in view.