One jawan was injured when Pakistani troops violated the border truce by resorting to unprovoked firing for several hours as the Border Security Force personnel foiled two infiltration bids in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.
The latest ceasefire violation came even as the country was celebrating the Republic Day. There were 16 infiltration bids and six truce violations along the Indo-Pak border in this month.
A large group of militants taking benefit of thick fog intruded into Indian territory in Alfa Machail border out post in Kanachak sub-sector, 25 km from here, at around 2 am on Tuesday, a senior BSF officer said.
However, alert BSF patrol parties picked up the movement of the militants and challenged them, after which the Ultras opened fire resulting to fierce exchanges, he said.
The Pakistani troops also opened firing apparently to give cover to the infiltrating militants, but BSF troops foiled their plan and the militants fled back, he said.
There was heavy firing from the Pakistan side at around 6.15 am in the same area and the BSF troops took positions and fired back, he said adding that one jawan, Head Constable P Thomas, was injured in the firing and hospitalised.
The authorities put the army on alert to assist the BSF, as there was heavy exchange of fire.
"The exchanges continued for several hours and came to a halt at around 12 noon," he said adding massive search and fence-checking operations are on.
The troops beat back two infiltration bids by militants in the same area, the official said adding that BSF troops traded firing with another group of militants in Tent-Beli Azmath forward area along international border in Kanachak sub-sector early on Tuesday and foiled another intrusion bid.
The exchange of firing continued for nearly one and a half hours in the area before militants escaped to Pakistani territory taking cover of the thick fog, he said.
"There was firing at around 2 am in the morning and it continued for a few hours," Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda said.
"The intensity was initially huge and later died down a bit. We are watching the situation. Our forces are there and things are well under control right now," he said.
Senior BSF, army and police officers visited the border to assess the situation.
Pakistani troops had also violated the ceasefire last night by firing three mortar shells, which exploded some distance away from a forward defence location in Poonch district.
Information from various security agencies involved in security grid in the state has put figure of infiltration attempts at 433 in 2009, 91 times more than 2008.
As per the police figures, 342 infiltration attempts were made from across the border in 2008, while 2007 and 2006 reported 535 and 573 such attempts along LoC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir, where over 100 militants managed to sneak in.
Khoda said the measures have been taken by security forces to foil such bids but it is an area of concern at a time when violence has gone down in Jammu and Kashmir.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, while talking about recent infiltration attempts in Jammu and Kashmir, on Monday said, "It seems that in the New Year they have stepped up their level of infiltration. We have had at least half-a-dozen incidents of infiltration."