India, Pak Trade Fire On LoC In Mendhar

4 May 2014
Kashmir Times

Mendhar: Pakistan troops breached truce by opening unprovoked firing on a forward Indian post at the Line of Control (LoC) on the intervening night of May 3 and 4 in Mendhar sector of Poonch district. Indian troops too retaliated in equal measure and the two sides traded fire for around two and a half hours. Intelligence sources, however, stated that the Pak firing was aimed at facilitating infiltration which was foiled by alert Indian troops. PRO Defence Jammu Lt Col Manish Mehta though confirmed ceasefire violation yet not corroborated inputs about foiled infiltration bid. This was first ceasefire violation in Mendhar in the month of May while in Poonch district, truce was breached for the second time in the last four days. On May 1, ceasefire violation had taken place in Sawjian in Poonch. According to sources, a forward Indian post Dhamu in Mendhar sector came under fire from Pakistan forward post Jhanda at 11.30 PM last night. Pak troops used burst fire to target Indian post. After exercising restraint for some time, Indian troops of 5 Granadiers manning Dhamu post too retaliated in equal measure and the two sides traded fire for about two and a half hour. The firing stopped at 2.00 AM. Sources stated that this firing was a part of Pakistan army's Border Action Team (BAT) operation aimed at facilitating infiltrators. Intelligence sources said that a group of 8-10 ultras had tried to sneak in Indian side under the cover of fire and out of them, two had even managed to reach the area between fence and LoC. However, effective retaliation by Indian troops did not allow them to infiltrate and they retreated to Pak side. PRO Defence Jammu, while confirming ceasefire violation, said that Pak army started unprovoked firing using small arms and automatic weapons thus violating ceasefire in Mendhar sector of Poonch district. 'Our troops too retaliated with weapons of equal caliber. The firing, which started at 2330 hours continued till 2345 hours. However there was no damage or casualty reported so far,' PRO Defence said. However agency reports quoting defence spokesman stated that army foiled an infiltration bid on the Line of Control (LoC) in Mendhar. 'A group of five to six militants tried to sneak into our side of the LoC in Dera Dabsi area in Poonch at night. Our troops fired at the infiltrators who had to withdraw back. No casualty occurred on our side although the militants also fired at the Indian troops after being challenged. The infiltration bid was second in less than two days on the LoC in Poonch district. Such infiltration bids are possible only with the assistance of the Pakistan army,' the agency report said quoting defence spokesman.