6 ultras assisted by BAT make fresh intrusion bid

Sanjeev Pargal

Troops conducting patrol on LoC in Mendhar.

JAMMU, July 26: On the eve of Kargil `Vijay Diwas’ celebrations, Pakistan Army tried to push a group of six militants into the Indian territory from Phagwari Gali on the Line of Control (LoC) in Mendhar sector of Poonch district. The Border Action Team (BAT) of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) is reported to have assisted the militants in infiltration but in vain.
Reliable sources and Intelligence inputs revealed that a group of six militants tried to intrude into the Indian side from Phagwari Gali along the LoC in Mendhar sector at 1 am in the wee hours of today. The militants were heavily armed.
However, troops spotted movement of the militants in their radar and became alert, they said, adding that Army on the LoC was anticipating some kind of mischief from Pakistan side on the eve of `Vijay Diwas’ celebrations as India had defeated Pakistani troops on this day and recaptured all heights driving Pakistani soldiers away from the Indian territory in Kargil.
Troops opened firing aiming the directions the militants were taking to sneak-in and thwarted their plot. The militants retreated. There were reports that some infiltrators had suffered casualties while retreating but there was no confirmation.
Army’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Col R K Palta, however, said there were no casualties, damage or ceasefire violation on the LoC last night. “Situation is normal,’’ he added.
According to sources, the firing lasted between 1 am to 2 am and stopped thereafter. In the morning, troops conducted searches along Phagwari Gali and forward areas of the LoC during the day today but didn’t find any traces of the militants.
Intelligence inputs revealed that the LeT outfit’s BAT had also tried to help the group of six militants in infiltration from across the LoC. The BAT activists were seen accompanying the militants but they retreated finding the troops alert on Indian side.
Excelsior had exclusively reported recently that the LeT has re-activated its Border Action Teams to help the militants in infiltration into the Indian side from the LoC in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri as the ultras on their own for finding it extremely difficult, or rather impossible, to enter into this side due to strict surveillance on the LoC and plugging of all infiltration routes.
A couple of days back, another big group of militants had tried to intrude from Sabjian sub sector in Poonch district. Troops had foiled this attempt also, which was backed by the Pakistani troops, who had given covering fire to the intruders.
There had been reports that a large number of militants were camping at launching pads across the LoC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) awaiting an opportunity to sneak into this side. However, the strict surveillance on the LoC by the troops has not allowed the militants to succeed in their designs.
Sources said the militants were trying to take the routes of thick vegetation and dense forest cover, which had grown up due to Monsoon rains to enter into this side. Army has already plugged all such routes.

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