Another jawan martyred in Pak firing at Poonch; toll 4

BSF-Rangers hold flag meet

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Nov 12: An Army soldier was martyred and another injured in fresh ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops on the Line of Control (LoC) in Sona Gali area of Mankote sector in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district this evening, taking death toll during last four days to four including three soldiers and a porter.
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However, on the International Border (IB), the Border Security Force (BSF) and Rangers held a flag meeting to discuss situation on the borders, the first since September 18 incident in which a BSF jawan was killed by the Rangers and his body was mutilated in Ramgarh sector of Samba district.
Official reports said that Pakistan army opened firing on forward Indian posts on the LoC in Mankote sector this evening. The Indian side retaliated, leading to exchange of firing, which continued for more than an hour. The Indian side gave very effective response to the Pakistani troops.
An Indian Army soldier identified as Lance Naik Antony Sebastian attained martyrdom in the firing while Havaldar Mary Muthu was injured. Troops evacuate the injured from the forward area and shifted him to the hospital.
Pakistani troops were also reported to have suffered heavy losses in retaliatory firing by the Indian Army.
This was fourth fatal casualty on the LoC during last four days of fresh tension on the LoC. Three soldiers and an Army porter have been killed and five others were injured in latest incidents of ceasefire violations in Pallanwalla sector of Jammu district, Sunderbani and Nowshera sectors in Rajouri and Mankote sector of Poonch.
Pakistan army too has suffered heavy casualties and damage in the Indian retaliation.
Fresh tensions on the LoC in Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts had erupted on Wednesday night on the occasion of Diwali festival as soon after exchange of sweets between Indo-Pak troops at Chakan-Da-Bagh and Hot Spring Points in Poonch and Mendhar sectors, Pakistan army had activated the LoC by resorting to firing and targeting forward posts of the Indian Army, which responded very effectively.
According to sources, Pakistan army was also trying to push highly trained militants to the Indian side through LoC under the cover of their firing in Rajouri and Poonch districts. However, the troops have been maintaining very high alert all along the LoC to ensure that the militants don’t succeed in infiltration.
Few days back, three Indian Army soldiers had attained martyrdom while thwarting infiltration attempt in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district. Two infiltrators, who had turned out to be dreaded Pakistani militants, were killed by the troops. Pakistan had refused to take bodies of their soldiers despite an offer made by India.
Meanwhile, on arrangements of Pakistan Rangers, a Sector Commander level meeting was held between Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers today on the International Border in Suchetgarh sector of RS Pura tehsil.
The meeting lasted an hour, sources said.
The BSF delegation comprising 18 officers was led by P S Dhiman, DIG BSF Jammu Sector and Brig Amjad Mehmud, Sector Commander Chenab Rangers, Sialkot Punjab, Pakistan headed the Pakistani team comprising 14 officers including 5 Wing Commanders.
It was the first Sector Commander level meeting between two border guarding forces after tension prevailed on Jammu International Border, on September18 following the killing of a BSF jawan by the Rangers and mutilation of his body in Ramgarh sector of Samba district.
During the meeting, Commanders of both the border guarding forces, inter alia, discussed various issues including firing on International Border, presence of suspects in border areas and other routine issues related to the border management.
It was decided to re-energize instant communication between the Field Commanders, whenever required, to resolve the petty matters.
“Meeting was held in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere and both sides agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the earlier meeting and committed to each other to maintain peace and tranquility at International Border,” sources said.