Tension continued to simmer on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistani army violating ceasefire five times after the brigadier-level flag meeting at Chakan Da Bagh in Poonch district on Monday. It was the fourth violation since the army chief Gen Bikram Singh addressed the media in Delhi.
“Just at the time when the chief was speaking yesterday (on Monday) they fired some rounds in Uri. After the flag meeting took place there were three ceasefire violations. One was in Uri. The Kalsi post (of Pakistani army) fired on the Churanda picket. There was a ceasefire violation in Barnoi which is also in the Mendhar sector. There was another ceasefire violation in the Mendhar sector,” Lt Gen KT Parnaik, general officer commanding in chief Northern Command said in Akhnoor.
Pakistani army fired small arms and mortar bombs to target the three places in Indian side. “In Barnoi they fired mortar bombs. We have restrained but there were ceasefire violations,” said Lt Gen Parnaik.
Even a night before the meeting, Pakistan violated ceasefire in Nangi Takri area to provoke Indian army so that there are civilian casualties on their side and they could rope in UN observers.
“We told them (Pakistani delegation during the flag meeting) that even at the time when they agreed for the meeting, they violated the ceasefire in the Nangi Tekri area (on Sunday night). This time they tried to be clever, firing from Mirza 1 and 2 posts across a river in Poonch. These pickets are in built up areas and if retialated, there could have been civilian casualties,” he said.
Admitting that troops are very angry after the killing of two soldiers in Mendhar, Lt Gen Parnaik said though they have plans to respond to Pakistan’s “grave provocation”, there is a sense of control in their side.
Lt Gen Parnaik allayed fears that war-like situation was developing on the LoC. “First there is no war- like situation nor will be (in future). These things are happening on tactical level… War is neither good for Pakistan nor do we want it,” he said.
He also confirmed that they have noticed troop movement in the forward areas (on the Pakistani side). “These could be reinforcements. It can also be that troops coming to carry out the reconnaissance of the area. Some troops and some odd weapons which have been moved to forward locations have been sighted,” he said.
Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire again as they targeted Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch sector. Pakistani troops fired a few rounds on Indian positions at around 1745 hours along the LoC in Mendhar, PRO defence, Col RK Palta said. The firing lasted for a brief period and Indian troops did not retaliate, he said adding Another ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops late this evening in Krishnagati sector along the LoC .