Toll reaches 4 in one week
Lt Gen Singh calls for strong response to Pak
JAMMU, Aug 23: Another Army jawan was today martyred, third in the past about one week, on the Line of Control in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district while Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and GOC Nagrota Corps Lt Gen Paramjit Singh visited forward areas of Poonch and Akhnoor sectors to review operational preparedness of the troops in view of situation prevailing on the LoC.
Officials said Pakistan army violated ceasefire along the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district this morning, prompting very heavy and effective retaliation by the Indian side, leading to exchanges lasting over an hour.
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Pakistan army targeted forward defence posts and civilian areas using heavy mortar shells and fire arms.
In the exchange of shelling and firing, an Indian Army soldier was martyred while the troops inflicted heavy damage to Pakistani army posts, leading to casualties of their jawans. However, exact number of casualties suffered by the Pakistan army couldn’t be ascertained immediately.
Couple of Pakistan army posts were also destroyed in the Indian shelling, the officials said, adding that firing from the other side stopped after strong retaliation given by the troops from this side.
The martyr has been identified as Naik Rajiv Thappa, 34, a resident of village Mechpara in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. He is survived by his wife, Khusbu Mangar Thappa.
“Naik Rajiv Thappa was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” a Defence spokesman said and added that the Indian Army responded to Pakistan ceasefire violations strongly and effectively inflicting heavy damage to their army posts and casualties to the soldiers.
This was the third Army jawan, who has attained martyrdom in Pakistan shelling and firing on the LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch during the past about one week. Besides, four Army soldiers have been injured. In retaliation, over a dozen Pakistan army personnel and some militants have been killed besides there was heavy infrastructural damages on the Pakistani side.
A civilian was also killed in Mendhar sector of Poonch district in Pakistan shelling four days back.
Indo-Pak hostilities have been on the rise on the LoC in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri since India scrapped special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
There have been reports that Pakistan army was trying to push heavily trained militants into the Indian territory under the cover of ceasefire violations. However, the troops were maintaining high alert to ensure that infiltration attempts by the militants don’t succeed.
Meanwhile, Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and General Officer Commanding (GOC) Nagrota Corps Lt Gen Paramjit Singh today visited forward bases in Poonch and Akhnoor sectors to review operational preparedness of the troops in view of situation prevailing on the LoC. He called for giving strong and effective response to the adversary (a reference towards Pakistan).
The Northern Command chief was briefed by the Commanders on preparedness of their formations. He expressed satisfaction on measures adopted to strengthen the counter infiltration posture with increased alertness and use of high-end technology. He appreciated the aggressive domination of the Line of Control adopted to give befitting response to ceasefire violations and tactical actions by the adversaries.
Lt Gen Ranbir Singh was also briefed on initiative undertaken to bring normalcy to the region with ‘Mission Reach Out’. He appreciated coordination among Army, civil administration and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
He complimented troops for bringing the situation in the districts of Poonch, Rajouri and Reasi back to normal wherein the restrictions have been removed and schools and colleges are functioning normally, the markets are open and people are engaged in day to day activities. He acknowledged the role of elders and youth for not falling prey to misinformation campaign.
Lt Gen Singh interacted with the soldiers and complimented them for their unwavering dedication to duty, selfless devotion and high standard of professionalism. He was appreciative of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted by the units and formations in their area of responsibility to minimize the casualties.
He exhorted all ranks on the need to remain vigilant to counter the nefarious designs of the adversary and directed that the response should be strong and effective. The Army Commander appreciated the preparedness and most importantly the morale of all soldiers.