Militants Enter 700 Meters Inside LoC, Kill Army Jawan

22 July 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: As there was no let up in infiltration attempts by the militants on the Line of Control (LoC) as well as International Border (IB), a group of at least 10 militants was reported to have intruded about 700 meters inside the Line of Control (LoC) and opened firing on the troops in an attempt to sneak into this side killing an Army jawan in forward village of Chakla in Pallanwalla sector of Akhnoor tehsil, bordering Sunderbani tehsil of Rajouri district, this morning. Official sources told the Excelsior that a group of at least eight to 10 militants was reported to have infiltrated about 700 meters inside the Indian territory at forward village of Chakla in Pallanwalla sector of Army's Sunderbani division at 9 am and opened firing on forward Army posts to divert their attention and sneak into this side. The Army jawans of Naga Regiment, deployed in the area, returned the firing. 'Generally, such type of attacks are carried out by Border Action Team of LeT,' sources said, adding it was not confirmed so far as to whether today's action was also done by the BAT. An Army jawan deployed in the forward post Naik Mongchon B of Naga Regiment sustained bullet wounds in firing by the militants. Troops evacuated him from the site of firing but he succumbed to his injuries as he had been hit by volley of shots. Firing by the militants continued for about half an hour, sources said. The troops immediately launched a massive search operation in the entire sector bordering Pallanwalla and Sunderbani to ensure that the militants didn't manage to sneak into the villages. The searches continued till late this evening but there was no trace of any militants. Sources said the militants might have either retreated to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) or could be hiding somewhere near the fencing to make fresh attempt of infiltration tonight. Arms has been maintaining high alert on the LoC to thwart the infiltration bid. Army spokesman Col Manish Mehta said: 'militants opened firing on Army at 9 am in Pallanwalla sector at a location approximately 700 meters on own side of the LoC in which an Army jawan sustained gunshot wound and later succumbed to his injuries. Area was immediately cordoned off and search operations were in progress when the last reports came in'. Police have also strengthened its positions in Pallanwalla and Khour towns and intensified patrolling to check any movement of the militants. Only yesterday, the BSF had foiled intrusion bid in Bobiya area on the International Border (IB) in Hiranagar sector, killing an infiltrator while others had retreated to Pakistan. Prior to this, BSF had last week thwarted infiltration attempt by five to six militants in Suchetgarh sector along the International Border. The border in Arnia sector, however, remained calm for second consecutive day today after Sunday morning's extensive damage to houses and casualties of cattle in heavy mortar shelling and firing by the Rangers. A BSF jawan was killed and seven others including three BSF personnel and four civilians were injured in firing by the Rangers in Arnia sector last week. Army and BSF have been maintaining high alert along the LoC and IB following spurt in infiltration attempts from across the border. There had been specific Intelligence inputs that the militants wanted to intrude into this side from the border to disturb forthcoming Assembly elections in the State, which were due to be held in November-December this year. Sources pointed out that the militants were opening new fronts on the LoC as well as IB to take Army and BSF by surprise in their infiltration attempts but were unable to succeed in view of alert maintained by the forces on the borders. Meanwhile, an infiltrator killed in BSF firing in Bobiya forward area of Hiranagar sector in Kathua district yesterday, has been identified as Ishfaq Ahmad son of Khurshid Ahmad R-o Shakargarh, Narowal, Pakistan. His body was recovered from near the fencing yesterday and was handed over to the Rangers at 7.45 pm today.