February 2018 News

Pak Punished For Misadventure, Says Army

25 February 2018
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: Following exchange of artillery fire by Indian and Pakistani forces in Uri on Saturday, the Army today said it had 'punished Pakistan in a befitting manner for its misadventure' on the Line of Control (LoC). As troops on both sides exchanged artillery after a gap of 15 years, residents of border villages are fearing escalation of the situation along the LoC in the Uri sector of Baramulla district. Villagers have abandoned their homes and moved to Rehabilitation Centre, Uri. Some of them have shifted to their relatives houses. Almost all residents of Silikote village at Hajipeer, Uri, have vacated their homes. Brigadier YS Ahlawat, Commander of the Uri Brigade, said the Pakistan army had been continuously violating ceasefire in the Uri sector since February 19 and targeting innocent villagers. He said the Pakistan army had been punished for targeting civilian areas. 'In a determined manner, the Indian Army has retaliated along the LoC and ensured the Pakistan army is yet again punished for this misadventure. The Army is confident of establishing peaceful and safe conditions at the earliest to ensure early return of the displaced people to their homes,' he said, while blaming the Pakistan army for starting ceasefire violations. The Pakistan army targeted Balkote, Silikote, Tilawari, Churanda and Hatlanga villages and neighbouring areas (in Uri), he said, adding that residents had been evacuated. 'Displaying extreme cowardice and unprofessionalism, it has been targeting innocent villagers living along the border and has been indiscriminately using mortar shelling and damaging houses of civilians. In a befitting reply, the Indian Army has retaliated accurately with heavy fire on the Pakistani posts which were involved in ceasefire violations,' Brigadier Ahlawat told reporters at Uri today. 'As a first responder on the ground, the Army has swung into action and immediately provided much-needed succour and relief to the villagers. The local commanders on the ground are personally monitoring the safety of the people and extending all assistance,' the Army officer said. Meanwhile, an uneasy calm prevailed in the villages along the LoC. There were reports that the Pakistan army had made announcements across Silikote and Churanda asking people to vacate their homes. 'The announcements have created more fear,' said a resident of Silikote. There has also been large-scale migration from Tilawari and Churanda villages, reports said. There are also reports that a few families from Sahura village along the LoC in Uri are not able to move to safer places. Around 150 families from eight affected villages have taken shelter at Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Uri, which has been established as a camp for displaced by the government. The state government today deputed senior minister Abdul Haq Khan to Uri to take stock of the situation. 'We are ready for any situation,' Khan said.