Army jawan martyred as troops foil major infiltration attempt

A Pakistan post destroyed across Nowshera sector (left) and a mortar shell explodes near J&K Police vehicle in KG sector (right) on Saturday. (Inset) Martyr Indian Army jawan Sandeep Thappa.
A Pakistan post destroyed across Nowshera sector (left) and a mortar shell explodes near J&K Police vehicle in KG sector (right) on Saturday. (Inset) Martyr Indian Army jawan Sandeep Thappa.

Pak commando, 2 militants killed; post decimated

Intense shelling in civilian areas on LoC

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Aug 17: An Indian Army soldier was martyred as troops thwarted major infiltration attempt by the militants on the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district eliminating a Pakistan army commando and two militants inside their ‘Khyber’ Post, which was decimated in retaliatory Indian action.

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Pakistani troops pounded civilian areas with heavy mortar shells in Krishna Ghati and Mankote sectors in Poonch district leading to fresh wave of panic among the people as several shells landed close to the houses but exploded harmlessly. Shelling continued till this evening.
Official reports said Pakistan army initiated heavy shelling and firing on the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district early this morning prompting the Indian troops to retaliate effectively. Heavy exchange of shelling and firing continued for two and a half hours.
In the firing, an Indian Army soldier attained martyrdom. He has been identified as Lance Naik Sandeep Thappa, 35, a resident of village Rajawala in Vikas Nagar area of Sahaspur district of Dehradun, Uttarakhand. He is survived by his wife Nisha Thappa.
“Lance Naik Sandeep Thappa was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” Defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said.
He said the Indian Army retaliated Pakistan shelling and firing very effectively.
“Heavy damage has been caused to Pakistan army posts and casualties to Pakistani troops have been inflicted by our Army,” Lt Col Anand said.
Sources said Pakistan army commando Ahmad Khan, who had mobilized well-trained militants of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit at a forward post named ‘Khyber’ opposite Nowshera sector was reported to have been killed in the Indian retaliation. As the ‘Khyber’ post was destroyed, at least two terrorists who were planning to infiltrate into the Indian territory for major subversive act, have been eliminated, sources said, adding that the infiltration attempt has been foiled.
Slain Pakistan army commando Ahmad Khan was known for facilitating infiltration attempts by the militants on the LoC as he was well versed with the intrusion routes in Nowshera, Sunderbani, Pallanwalla and surrounding sectors, which was his major area of operation.
“Ahmad Khan had specially been brought to the LoC by the Pakistan army few days back with a view to ensure infiltration by the militants into the Indian territory. However, he failed in his plot and was reported to have been killed inside the forward post of Pakistan army along with two militants of Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit,” sources said.
It may be mentioned here that only yesterday, Pakistan army had admitted that its four troopers were killed in Indian Army’s retaliatory firing and shelling on the Line of Control. The Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had also uploaded photographs of four Pakistani army personnel, who were killed in the Indian retaliatory action.
In the afternoon, Pakistan army opened another front in Krishna Ghati and Mankote sectors of Poonch district by targeting forward posts of the Indian troops and civilian areas with heavy mortars and fire arms.
Several mortar shells fired by Pakistan landed in civilian areas like Mankote, Balnoi, Sagra, Ghani, Dabraj, Naad and surroundings, leading to panic among the villagers but there was no report of any casualties on the Indian side so far. However, some structures were reported to have suffered minor damage.
The Indian side responded effectively and exchange of mortar shelling and firing continued till this evening. Casualties or damages suffered by Pakistan army across Krishna Ghati and Mankote sectors couldn’t be ascertained immediately.
There was panic among the villagers, who feared that Pakistan in deep frustration following abrogation of special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and humiliation suffered by it at all international forums, could target the innocent civilians in the border areas.
Most of the civilians living in forward villages of Krishna Ghati and Mankote sectors remained confined to houses and bunkers during Pakistan shelling and firing, which was very intense and was directly aimed at forward posts and civilian areas, the reports said.
However, the effective retaliation by the Indian troops silenced the Pakistani guns.