October 2016 News

Army's Another Offensive: Pak Post Decimated On LoC In PoK

3 October 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: In another major offensive against Pakistan after September 29 surgical strikes, Indian Army this evening destroyed a big Pakistani Post opposite Sabjian sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district as this post was resorting to heavy mortar shelling and firing on the India Army posts and civilian areas. Meanwhile, heavy shelling with 120mm and 82mm mortar shells and firing with automatic guns raged on at four places on the LoC including Sabjian, Shahpur, Mandi and Krishna Ghati in Poonch district since wee hours of this morning in which a fuel dump of security forces and 11 shops caught fire at Gagrian in Sabjian sector after being hit by a mortar shell while six civilians including five women were injured, one of them seriously, as several mortars landed close or inside houses of the civilians in Shahpur and Sabjian during the day. 'It was a war like situation during the day. Mortars are raining in the civilian areasinside houses, shops, cattle sheds and the villages. While our Army is targeting Pakistani posts, the latter are firing in the civilian areas. They have been frustrated and gone berserk after surgical strikes by the Indian Army deep inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in which several militants and Pakistan army personnel were killed,' former Sarpanch, Mohammad Ali Khan said on telephone. Official sources told the Excelsior that Indian Army launched major offensive against Pakistani troops at both Shahpur and Sabjian sectors of Poonch districts as the enemy didn't stop from targeting civilian areas at both these villages, injuring five persons, three of them women. In the counter offensive, Indian troops used mortar shells and heavy fire arms and completely destroyed Pakistan Army's 'Twin-1' Post opposite Sabjian sector, which was targeting the civilian areas. 'The casualties of Pakistan army inside the decimated Post were not known. Generally, three to four jawans man a big post,' sources pointed out but declined to confirm fatal or non-fatal casualties inside the 'Twin-I Post', which has completely been destroyed. After the destruction of Pakistani Post, the shelling and firing in Sabjian sector of Poonch came down considerably. However, some other posts of Pakistan, which were behind 'Twin-1' continued shelling and firing though their intensity has considerably come down by tonight. Before the Pakistani Post was destroyed, a mortar shell fell near an old and abandoned kerosene oil dump of the security forces at Gagrian in Sabjian, which caught fire. The shells also fell in Gagrian market at Sabjian in which about 11 shops caught fire and were extensively damaged, leading to heavy losses of the public property. BSF Public Relations Officer (PRO) Manoj Yadav said only one barrel of kerosene oil depot caught fire, which was not located in the forward post. He said it was old administrative base, which had been vacated by the BSF. Sources said the goods inside the shops, which were closed at the time of firing, were damaged. 'The local people have suffered heavy losses in the shelling,' they added but said exact damages would be known only after the shelling stopped and people open their shops. Apart from the shops, sources said, several houses and cattle shed also suffered damages when mortar shells fell in the civilian areas. SSP Poonch Jatinder Singh Johar told the Excelsior that police personnel rescued injured civilians including lady Special Police Officer (SPO). He said police was on high alert all along the LoC and was maintaining strict vigil. He said there has been no migration from any forward area of the LoC and people were staying put in their houses despite heavy shelling and firing. Johar, who visited some of the shelling hit areas, said police have advised the people to stay indoors and don't venture out during the shelling. A lady SPO Shah Begum was hit by splinters of mortar shell at Fence Gate in Qasba area of Shahpur and injured. Police teams evacuated and shifted her to the hospital. Two women suffered injuries as the mortar shells fell close to their houses and exploded with bangs. They have been identified as Ujma Bi and Hafiza Akhter. Army and police with the help of civilians immediately evacuated the injured women from the villages and shifted them to Sub District Hospital in Mandi from where they were in the process of being shifted to District Hospital, Poonch. In the afternoon, three civilians including two women were injured in Shahpur sector of Poonch district due to heavy shelling and firing. Injured were identified as Rafila Bi, 28, wife of Imtiaz Hussain and Ghulam Hussain son of Abdullah, both residents of Shahpur and Akhter Bi wife of Mohammad Sadiq R-o Bhainch, Shahpur. The three injured have been admitted in the District Hospital Poonch. However, late in the evening, Rafila Bi was shifted to the Government Medical College, Jammu for specialized treatment in view of her serious condition. Sources said Pakistan army started heavy firing with automatic guns followed by mortar shelling in Krishna Ghati sector at 1 am. In Shahpur, Sabjian and Mandi, the firing and shelling started from 10 am onwards and was going on intermittently when the reports last came in tonight. 'Intensity of the shelling was very high during the day today,' sources said, adding it has created panic among the people but despite that the people were staying in their houses,' sources said, adding that Pakistan army used 120 mm mortar shells also apart from 82 mm and there was matching response from the Indian side. Meanwhile, Pallanwalla sector on the LoC in Akhnoor tehsil, which had witnessed heavy mortar shelling and firing during previous two consecutive nights, remained peaceful today. Over 12,000 people have migrated to safer areas from Pallanwalla sector so far.