With onset of summer, militants’ number swells at launch pads

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Apr 1: As there was no let up in ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, Army has sounded fresh alert on the LoC following inputs that more militants have gathered at launching pads on Pakistan side with the arrival of summer season with a view to infiltrate into the Indian side at an opportune time.
Sources told the Excelsior that Pakistani troops were keeping the pot boiling on the LoC as they want to push trained militants into the Indian side under the cover of ceasefire violations. It was in view of this that the Pakistani troops continued to resort to mortar shelling and firing on the LoC.
A day after violating ceasefire at four places on the LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, Pakistani troops today against lobbed mortar shells and resorted to firing on the LoC at village Khari Karmara in Poonch district at about 1 pm. The Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to exchanges for about half an hour.
However, there were no casualties or damage on the Indian side.
“Majority of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops were either aimed at targeting civilians or aiding and abetting infiltration attempts by the militants as they (the enemy) now haven’t been able to strike at the Indian Army,” sources said, adding that the troops have been maintaining very high alert not only during ceasefire violations but 24×7 as there have been inputs that number of militants at launching pads on Pakistan side of the LoC has further increased in last half of the March after improvement in weather conditions on the higher reaches.
“The number has swelled at the launching pads during past fortnight with the onset of summer. However, the troops have been maintaining very high alert along the LoC in both Rajouri and Poonch districts to ensure that the militants didn’t manage to sneak in like Sunderbani, where four militants had managed to infiltrate but were eliminated before they could carry out a fidayeen attack on security installations.
There have been reports that Pakistan army was fully aiding and abetting the militants, who have been camping at launching pads, which were very close to their forward posts. Majority of these militants were Pakistanis and they belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and they could attempt infiltration under ceasefire violations by Pakistan, sources said.
They added that the issue of infiltration attempts and camping of large number of militants on launching pads of Pakistan, had also reportedly figured during high-level meeting of top Army Commanders chaired by Chief of Arms Staff Gen Bipin Rawat at Northern Command Headquarters in Udhampur yesterday.
“The Army was determined to thwart all infiltration attempts. Some pre-emptive actions, deemed fit to check intrusions by the militants, were also not ruled out,” sources said.
Asserting that Pakistan army was getting desperate to push infiltrators into Jammu and Kashmir in view of large number of elimination of the militants in the Kashmir valley, sources said the troops have taken all possible measures to foil evil designs of Pakistan army.
Meanwhile, this was for the second time in the past week that Pakistani troops targeted Indian positions in Khari Karmara area of Poonch sector today. On March 27, Pakistani troops fired mortar bombs ending a 10-day long lull in the cross-border firing along the LoC in the State.
Earlier on March 18, five members of a family were killed and two others injured when a mortar shell hit their residential house in Balakote sector of the district.
There has been a spurt in ceasefire violations along the LoC and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir this year, resulting in the death of 26 people including 12 security personnel.