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India lodges protest with Pak for cross-border firing
August 12, 2008 16:33 IST
India on Tuesday lodged a strong protest with the Pakistan army [Images] authorities for ceasefire violations resulting in cross-border firing at Indian posts along the Line of Control [Images] in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir [Images].
"We have lodged a strong protest with Pakistan authorities over Monday's firing of rockets on an Indian position in Brachar forward area of Swajian sub-sector in Poonch district," a top defence official told PTI.
Company commanders of two the armies held a meeting at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point along the LoC in Poonch district today morning where the Indian commanders lodged a strong protest with their Pak counterparts, defence sources said.
India provided Pak commanders with evidence of the rocket firing after they made a demand, the sources said.
Authorities of both the sides have activated a hotline in this sector and India conveyed strong-worded protest to the other side, they said adding that the Pakistani side agreed to investigate Monday's incident.
Two rockets fired from a Rocket-Propelled Gun from Pakistan's NPP post, missed its intended target of a forward post and landed at Brachar in Swajian sector in this border district around 2.20 pm and exploded, according to the sources. The explosions caused panic among the villagers, they added.
Since January this year, Pakistani troops have violated the five-year-old ceasefire agreement 22 times and have provoked reactions from Indian troops, though the latter have refused to retaliate on most occasions.
The Indian Army's [Images] Director General of Military Operations had also strongly protested on a couple of occasions over ceasefire violations to his Pakistani counterpart, during the Tangdhar firing and the Nowgam LoC breach.
Pakistani violations of the ceasefire have been reported from Rajouri, Tanghdhar and Poonch sector this year, from where a large number of Kashmiri militants have been trying to infiltrate into India.
The army headquarters in Delhi [Images] has assessed that the Pakistani firing occurred whenever militant groups were making attempts to infiltrate into India and the ceasefire violations could be a tactic adopted by Pakistani troops to distract Indian forces along the LoC.
Infiltration bids by militants have witnessed an increase in the summer months this year in view of the Jammu and Kashmir state Assembly elections scheduled for October this year, Army sources said.
Close to a hundred infiltration bids have been reported in the last eight months from across the LoC with Pakistan, as Kashmiri militant groups felt that the summer months were the best time of the year to augment their depleting strength in the Valley.
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