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Indian army lodges protest with Pakistan over ceasefire violation

September 22, 2008 14:42 IST

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The Indian army [Images] on Monday lodged a "strong" protest with its Pakistani counterpart over a "major" violation of ceasefire along the Line of Control [Images] in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir [Images].
      
"We have lodged a strong written protest with the Pakistan authorities over small arms firing by them on an Indian position in Tarkundi forward sector on Saturday," a senior defence officer told PTI after a meeting of the company commanders of the two sides at Tatapani along the LoC in Poonch district.
      
"India provided them evidence of firing," he said. Officials said on Sunday that it was the gravest violation of the ceasefire by Pakistan since the November 2003 truce came into force.
      
"Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire and opened small arms firing on Indian posts along LoC in Tarkundi forward areas in Poonch district from 1100 hours to 1600 hours Saturday," the officer said.
      
But there was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the firing, he said adding that Indian troops guarding the LoC also fired a few rounds.
      
Since January this year, Pakistani troops have violated the five-year-old ceasefire agreement 32 times. The aim of the cross-border firing is to push in armed militants into Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Nearly 110 infiltration bids have been reported in the last eight months from across the LoC. On Thursday, there was firing from Pakistan across LoC on forward posts of Panjal and Kopra in Sabzian sub-sector of Poonch district.
       
There were 13 incidents of ceasefire violations along LoC in Poonch sector from May to September this year. Four jawans were killed and 13 injured in Pakistani firing and shelling in the sector.

The Indian army has further beefed up the security along the LoC in the wake of intelligence reports that several big groups of the militants are waiting to enter Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
       
The Indian Army's Director-General of Military Operations had strongly protested to his Pakistani counterpart on a couple of occasions over ceasefire violations after the Tangdhar and Nowgam incidents.
      
Infiltration bids by militants have witnessed an increase in summer months this year in view of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections due later this year.




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