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Exchange of fire across India-Pakistan border in J&K
Published on 11 Jan. 2010 9:43 PM IST
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A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper was Monday killed in firing from across the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan, an Indian Army official said. The trooper Shurvir Singh was hit by a bullet and died on the spot in Sabzian sector of Poonch district, about 240 km north-east of Jammu. Pakistani troops opened fire on the Indian positions around 11.30 a.m. The firing was retaliated by the BSF. “This was a brazen case of ceasefire violation,” a spokesman of the Indian Army told IANS. Early Monday, there was an exchange of fire between the BSF and either militants or Pakistani Rangers in Kanachak sector near Akhnoor along the international border. After noticing some movement near the border in Kanachak sector, about 35 km west of Jammu, a BSF patrol party opened fire. This led to retaliation from the Pakistani side. “We are not sure if the fire that came from Pakistan was by Pakistani Rangers or a group of militants trying to infiltrate into the Indian side,” a BSF official said. Visibility was poor due to fog. However, once daylight broke the BSF personnel found that the barbed wire fence erected on the Indian side to check infiltration from Pakistan “was cut at two points”. “Militants were taking advantage of the thick fog along the international border,” the BSF official said. Border on high alert Troops along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir have been put on high alert after reports of an increase in infiltration attempts into the state. “There are intelligence reports of further increase in the cross-border infiltration attempts from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Troops have been put on high alert along the Indo-Pak border and have intensified round-the-clock patrolling,” security officials said. According to intelligence received, 1,000 to 1,200 terrorists are staged along the border in launching pads to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir from POK, they said. In view of the foggy conditions, troops have been setting up more ambushes and intensified patrolling round the clock, they said. “Militants try to take benefit of the thick fog to cut the fence and infiltrate as there is no visibility even at very close range during the night,” a source said. Police have also activated Border Village Defence Committees as another tier of security and are keeping a close watch inside the border belts. There were three infiltration bids, which were foiled by the security forces along the International Border and Line of Control (LoC) in less than a week. The first infiltration bid in this year was foiled by BSF at Narianpur Border Out Post in Ramgarh sub-sector of Samba district on January 4. It was followed by another infiltration bid along Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote area of Poonch district on January 8. A patrolling party of BSF also foiled another infiltration bid after a brief firefight when militants after cutting the fence had come inside in the forward area of Garkhal in Pargwal belt of Akhnoor tehsil in Jammu district on saturday. Information from various security agencies involved in security grid in the state has put the figure of infiltration attempts at 433 in 2009, 91 attempts more than 2008. According to the police, 342 infiltration attempts were made from across the border in 2008, while 2007 and 2006 reported 535 and 573 such attempts along LoC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir. Confirming surge in infiltration, state Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda told PTI that measures have been taken by security forces to foil these bids and it is an area of concern at a time when violence has gone down in Jammu and Kashmir. Referring to cross-border Infiltration, General Officer Commanding, 16 Corps, Lt Gen Rameshwar Roy had told reporters last week that there has been an increase in infiltration attempts but their crossing into the state across the LoC has not increased. Caption:

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