Pakistan Troops Resort To Shelling Along LoC

1 October 2014
The New Indian Express
Arun Joshi

Jammu: After nearly a month long lull along the Line of Control (LoC), Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling on the Indian side at Saujjian in border Poonch district of Jammu Kashmir on Wednesday night. Significantly, the latest ceasefire violation by Pakistan has come within 24 hours after US President Barack Obama and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi during nearly two hour long meeting between them in Washington on Tuesday committed to 'joint and concerted efforts that include dismantling safe havens for terrorists and criminal networks, disrupting financial and tactical support for Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, D-company and Haqqani network'. A Defence Ministry spokesman said the Pakistan troops started firing in Saujjian around 6.40 pm. They were using mortar shells causing panic in the nearby villages. A Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Colonel Manish Mehta here confirmed ceasefire violation by Pakistan. In a statement, he said that Pakistani troops started firing in Saujjian at 6.40 pm. On being provoked, the Indian Army 'responded appropriately', he said and added that the exchange of fire between the two sides was continuing when reports last came in. Meanwhile, sources said that Pakistani troops were using mortar shells causing panic in nearby residential areas where people were already hit hard by recent flood furry. The border Poonch district has been the worst hit by recent natural calamity in Jammu region where flood fury not only led to death of a sizeable number of people, but also caused wide spread damage to public infrastructure and residential structures. Earlier in August this year, both India and Pakistan had been engaged exchange of heavy firing both along the LoC and the international border in Jammu region. The unprovoked firing by Pakistan Rangers along the international border in R S Pura, Arnia and Ramgarh sectors had been intense resulting in migration by local villagers from many places. The top BSF officials had described the Pakistani firing along the international border as 'heaviest' since 1971 Indo-Pak war. While peace got restored along the borders following a flag meeting between the two sides at Suchetgarh on August 29, five days thereafter areas of Jammu Kashmir on both sides of the border were hit by flood fury, the worst ever in last six decades.