Fresh firing at LoC

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SRINAGAR:  India Monday said that Pakistani Rangers again violated the ceasefire and resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing targeting Border Out Posts (BOPs) and civilian areas in Arnia and RS Pura sub-sectors in Jammu district throughout Sunday night resulting in the injury of a civilian.

Border Security Force official said that Pakistani Rangers resorted to indiscriminate mortar shelling and firing. He said some mortar shells hit civilian areas resulting in chaos and confusion. Pakistani Rangers freely used mortars and automatic weapons while India according to Defense spokesperson retaliated with equal force. 

“The firing started at around 10 on Sunday night and continued whole night. Pakistani Rangers targeted 15 to 20 Border Out Posts of India while our jawans also responded and attacked their outposts,” and official said adding the exchange of intermittent fire continued for more than six hours. 

Describing the attack as the biggest ceasefire violation on part of Pakistan, BSF officials said that Pakistani Rangers also attacked civilian areas and used 82-mm mortars freely. “A civilian from Treva village sustained injuries but he is stable,” BSF official said.

Meanwhile, Pakistani media reported that it was India that violated the ceasefire.

2014: 48 clashes on LoC 

The seemingly  growing incidents of ceasefire violations along the border with Pakistan are adding more strain to the complex India-Pakistan relations. 

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are slated to meet on August 25 in Islamabad to discuss a roadmap for dialogue, two years after secretary-level bilateral talks.

Reports say there have been 48 ceasefire violations — 11 since August 8 — from across the border in 2014 and observers feel that these are part of Pakistan army’s game plan to scuttle the talks.

“The continued ceasefire violations are a step towards that goal,” claimed security and strategic analyst and former brigade commander, Brig Anil Gupta.

Former Director General of Police, J&K, and security expert MM Khajuria echoed Gupta’s thoughts, and opined that Pakistan army and Pakistani intelligence agency ISI are always on their job of sabotage.

The spurt in ceasefire violations since August 8 has seen Pakistan troops engage in unprovoked and indiscriminate firing on and shelling of scores of Border Outposts, forward posts and civilians areas along the LoC and International Border  in Jammu and Poonch districts.

Asked about the ceasefire violations, PRO Defense, Northern Command, Col SD Goswami, said it was “a cause of concern” but added that “the ceasefire on the borders is holding out with a few aberrations”.

“Incidents of ceasefire violation are being taken up through the established mechanism. A strict vigil is being maintained along the borders; counter-infiltration measures by the army have been further strengthened,” Goswami. 

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