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Pakistan violates ceasefire again, army fire at Indian posts in Jammu

Jammu: Pakistan Rangers on Sunday fired at Indian positions on the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

“Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing at BSF (Border Security Force) outposts in Kotranka area of RS Pura sector,” a police officer told IANS.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The firing began at 1.30 am. The BSF retaliated effectively.

“Intermittent firing exchanges continued in the area till 2.30 am.”

The officer said no casualty or damage has been reported from the Indian side.

Pakistan troops have violated the bilateral ceasefire agreement over a dozen times during the last seven days on the border, causing panic among thousands of villagers in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts.

These border residents have been forced to abandon their homes and agricultural fields for fear of life.

IANS

Pakistan new strategy of sending fidayeens serves dual purpose

The new strategy serves dual purpose for the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment: Security forces are bound to suffer casualties in these attacks. Second the attack helps in raising the morale of the militant cadres operating in Jammu and Kashmir

Wife of a victim of Dinanagar attack being consoled by her relatives in Gurdaspur on Tuesday

PTI
For the last three years, Pakistan has adopted a new strategy of sending militants directly from the launch pads along the Line of Control and International Border to carry out sensational fidayeen attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.The new strategy serves dual purpose for the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment: Security forces are bound to suffer casualties in these attacks. Second the attack helps in raising the morale of the militant cadres operating in Jammu and Kashmir Following are some of the sensational cross border attacks:<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> July 27, 2015: A newly-infiltrated group of three militants carried out an audacious fidayeen attack killing seven people, including a superintendent of police, and injuring many others in Dinanagar area of Gurdaspur in Punjab. All the three militants, who were holed up in the police station, were later gunned down by the security forces in an 11-hour-long operation. March 20, 2015: Two terrorists dressed in Indian army uniform crossed the international border, hijacked a jeep and stormed a police station in Kathua district of Jammu, killing four people. It was the first major terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP-BJP coalition government took charge on March 1. March 21, 2015: Two terrorists opened fire and lobbed grenades at an army installation in Samba near Jammu. Both the terrorists were later killed by the forces. December 5, 2014: Seventeen people – Eight armymen, including a Lieutenant Colonel, three Jammu and Kashmir policemen and six newly-infiltrated fidayeen, were killed in a terror attack on 31 field regiment army camp at Mohra in the garrison town of Uri. The fidayeens had crossed the LoC from Pakistan into Uri to carry out the attack November 27, 2014: A newly-infiltrated group of fidayeen militants stormed an abandoned army bunker near the International border and engaged the security forces in a fierce gunfight leaving three soldiers including a junior commissioned officer and three civilians dead in Arnia sector of Jammu division. March 28, 2014: Heavily-armed fidayeen militants dressed as armymen carried out two audacious attacks killing three people including a soldier and injuring four others in Dayalachak and Janglote areas of Kathua district in Jammu division. All the three fidayeens (members of suicidal attack) were later killed by the security forces in the ensuing gun-battle that lasted for 10 hours in the forests of Janglote. May 19, 2014: Tension gripped the Line of Control when suspected Pakistani Border Action Team attacked the Indian army patrol leaving one Sepoy dead and two others injured at Akhnoor sector in Jammu division. September 26, 2013: Barely 72 hours before former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s proposed meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, newly-infiltrated fidayeen militants carried out two audacious attacks on the security forces installations in Kathua and Samba districts leaving 12 people dead including a lieutenant colonel of the army. Seven others including the commanding officer of the army camp were injured in the incident. August 6, 2013: Wounds of Mendhar were still fresh when Pakistan army backed by highly motivated militants breached the Line of Control and ambushed the Indian army patrol killing five soldiers and wounding another at Chakan da Bagh in Poonch sector of Jammu division. January 8 2013: Pakistan army’s Border Action Team crossed the Line of Control into Indian side and beheaded Lance Naik Hemraj and badly severed the head of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh of 13 Rajputana Riffles before fleeing to their side of LoC.

Festival in war zone to woo tourists

The Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led government is showcasing the epicentre of Pakistani shelling in Hiranagar sector as a major tourist destination

From a war zone to the sojourn of peace, the area around the international border has come a long way to charm tourists in Jammu. Who is organising event?The Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led government is showcasing the area around the epicentre of Pakistani shelling in Hiranagar sector as a major tourist destination. For the first time a two-day border festival is being organised to woo tourists to the erstwhile war zone which saw some of the bloodiest incidents of shelling by Pakistan in September last year and January. One civilian lost his life.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What is the aim?Around 21,000 people living along the border were shifted to temporary shelter camps in Kathua district of Jammu division after tensions broke out on December 31 last year.But, violence here is now passé and the administration is busy trying to ward off fears and create a feel good factor in the war zone. Music, local cuisine, cultural heritage, art and history coupled with a trip to forward areas has been planned as part of the festival.”Around 10,000 people including tourists are expected to converge at the spot for the festival for two days. Due to Pakistani shellings the residents suffer from fear psychosis. We are trying to ward that off through the festival”, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, district development commissioner, Kathua, told dna.What is the highlight?More than 100 stalls by departments, organisations, projects, industries and tourism associations would be set up. The highlight of the festival would be a one-day international border trip.”The festival is aimed at boosting the tourism sector in the border area and linking youth with a public driven tourism industry. Over 15 Border Tourism Huts are being taken up with public partnership in the current year for attracting tourists. This time we expect tourists to the Vaishno Devi shrine to converge at the festival”, said Dr Choudhary.Is entry free?There will be no entry fee as the administration has extended an open invitation to interested associations and groups to display various tourist destinations and packages.”Border Security Force, Army and Police Training Centre in Kathua have extended assistance to district administration in logistic arrangements and organising special events”, said Dr Choudhary.

After Kathua, Samba attacks, Sayeed says Pakistan should control terror if it wants peace

Jammu: Pakistan should control terrorism if it wants peace and reconciliation, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed today said, while terming the terror attacks in Kathua and Samba as a “conspiracy” to derail the peace process.

Condemning the terror attacks, he said the people of the state have a strong resolve and some terrorist attacks will not deter them.

“If they (Pakistan) wants peace, reconciliation, Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, its establishment must control them (terrorism),” he told the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly after opposition created a ruckus demanding adjournment of the question hour.

AP imageAP image

AP image

Expressing hope that peace would return to Jammu and Kashmir soon, he said, “People of Jammu and Kashmir have given a mandate. My suggestion is to introduce a resolution to condemn such attacks.

“The peace that was witnessed by the state after 2003, similar peace will return to Jammu and Kashmir, same peace will be restored and the forces which are doing this (such attacks) that we should send a message from the House …Pakistan is also a victim and their Prime Minister says he cannot do anything to control this,” he said.

“We have a strong will, a strong resolve to control to fight terrorism, if they want peace then they have to control them,” he said.

He said during the tenure of former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf “peace prevailed” on both sides of the border and Line of Control.

The Chief Minister again termed the terrorists from across the border as “non-state actors” and asked, “Who were the people who attacked churches in Karachi, who launched attacks in Peshawar, who is Lakhvi.”

Mufti had said on Friday held non-state actors responsible for the attack on the police station in Kathua. The Chief Minister said the terror attacks that took place in Kathua and Samba in the last 48 hours were nothing new as such type of attacks have been happening for long.

He also noted that Pakistan itself was a victim of extremism.

“They (terrorists) are not being taught Islam, I don’t know what they are being taught so they go out to kill people. When I took over as the chief minister for the first time they launched an attack on the Raghunath Temple in Jammu.”

He said in the past two three years such attacks have taken place with even heads being decapitated on the borders.

Congress Legislative party leader Nawang Rigzin Jora wanted an explanation from the chief minister as to why he termed the terrorists as “non-state actors.”

“Why do you call terrorists non-state actors” Jora asked to which Mufti replied, “Those who attack Churches, those who attacked Pesahwar, Lakhvi what are they.”

Mufti said the House must show a unified face in the wake of such attacks and pass a resolution condemning such attacks
in a unanimous voice.

PTI

J&K live: After Kathua, terrorists attack Samba Army camp, 1 injured

9.48 am: No one is injured, says Army officer

Speaking to ANI, defence PRO Lt Col Manish Mehta said that no one was injured in the attack, though Times Now interviewed a doctor in the Samba District Hospital who said one person was critically injured.

“The civilian who was injured had fallen off his cycle. He didn’t sustain bullet or splinter injuries,” he said.

Mehta added that the militants had not entered the Samba Army camp, they weren’t trying to either. They were firing at the camp from outside.

“They have been cordoned outside the army area, they are likely to be two people,” said Mehta.

9.oo am: Pilgrim critically injured in terror strike

A man from Firozabad, who was on his way to Vaishno Devi on a cycle, was caught in a cross fire and was critically injured in the crossfire. “The first gun shots were heard at around 5.30-5.45 am. The pilgrim was injured in the firing,” Nirmal Singh, deputy CM of Jammu and Kashmir, told ANI.

He added that the state was put on high alert following the Kathua attack and that’s why the militants couldn’t make a bigger attack at Samba. “Security forces have been alerted and will prevent such attacks,” he said.

“Movement of militants is not confirmed, combing operation in underway,” Singh added.

The Jammu-Pathankot highway has been sealed and gun shots can be heard from the army camp, still.

A doctor at the hospital where the injured person was admitted said that he is badly injured and critical.

8.25 am: Another terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir

Less than 24 hours after a terror group stormed a police station in Kathua, militants have struck at an Army camp in Samba. It is being suspected that the same terror group is also behind the second attack.

Two militants attacked the Indian Army’s 81 armoured united in the Sambra sector early today morning. Live television reports suggested that sounds of small firearms and grenades were being heard from the site.

A severe gun battle is on between the security forces and the militants right now.

End of updates from 21/3/15

12.12 am: Our sympathies lie with families of those who lost their lives, says Rajnath

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in a statement in Lok Sabha, confirmed that two militants have been gunned down by the security forces and praised the security personnel for their work.

“Our sympathies lie with the families of the policemen and the CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the attack,” Singh said. “A civilian who was shot down by militant has our sympathies,” he added.

“We admire and commend the work done by our security forces,” said the Home Minister.

11.47 am: Gunbattle ends, two terrorists killed

The counter-terror operation launched by security forces against the militants at the Rajbagh police station has ended, according to TV reports. Reports also said that another suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militant had been killed in the encounter.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

A search operation is being conducted by the security forces in the area now.

11.27 am: Kathua terror attack reflects the lawlessness in Jammu and Kashmir, says NCP

NCP leader Majid Memon slammed the PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir for the terror attack on the police station in Kathua district.

“This is unfortunate in the sense that this only reflects that there is no rule of law, there is total chaos, lawlessness. Thanks to the uncomfortable PDP-BJP alliance which is in power in Jammu and Kashmir,” Memon told ANI.

“We have been seeing from past more than a month, since the assumption of power by this combination that the separatist and anti-nationalist elements are being encouraged. They probably think that they are no more orphan, they have got somebody in the government to support, depending upon soft support of PDP,” he added.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also said, “What do you expect under a CM who released Masarat Alam?”

11.03 am: Militants were wearing army uniform, says CRPF officer

CRPF constable Bharat Prabhu, who was injured in the terror attack, said that the militants, wearing Army uniforms, intercepted a jeep going from Jammu to Pathankot on the pretext of checking the vehicle.

The ultras then hijacked the jeep which had three passengers on board and fled towards the Rajbagh Police Station where they opened fire on a sentry and killed him.

The militants then hurled grenades at the police station and opened indiscriminate fire. – PTI

10.32 am: Three security personnel killed, Rajnath meets PM Modi on the issue

The death toll in the Kathua terror attack has now climbed up to 4, with three security personnel killed in the attack, reported NDTV. Another militant had been shot dead in the ongoing gunbattle.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, along with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue, according to Times Now.

9.59 am: Pak should realise friendship and terrorism cannot go hand-in-hand, says Congress

Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad criticised Pakistan for the terror attack and said the country should realise that friendship talks and terrorism cannot go hand-in-hand.

“It is sad that Pakistan indulges in habitual backstabbing,” said Azad. “Foreign Secretary-level talk just happened…Pakistan should realise that friendship and terrorism cannot go hand in hand.”

Azad also said that it is sad that the “peace process hasn’t even concluded and this has happened.”

BJP leader Jitendra Singh also told Times Now, “This is evidence of the fact that Pakistan is refusing to mend its ways.”

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also expected to make a statement on the Kathua terror attack in the Parliament today, said reports.

9.35 am: Another security personnel killed, one militant shot dead

Another security personnel has been reportedly killed in the attack, according to TV reports. Zee News also reported that nine people have been seriously injured in the attack. These nine include seven CRPF officers, one policeman and one civilian.

One of the terrorists who attacked the Rajbagh police station in Kathua has been shot dead by security forces, according to reports.

Heavy firing was heard from the site in which security forces launched a counter-operation against the militants.

8.59 am: Rajnath speaks to J&K DGP, Home Ministry monitoring situation

The Ministry of Home Affairs is monitoring the situation in Kathua. The Home Secretary LC Goyal has also spoken to the Jammu and Kashmir DGP about the terror attack.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has also spoken to the Jammu and Kashmir DGP and has instructed the Home Secretary to closely monitor the situation.

8.40 am: Terror attack carried out by 3 to 4 terrorists of LeT suicide squad, say reports

A gunbattle in underway at the Kathua police station. The Jammu-Pathankot national highway has also been closed due to the attack, according to ANI.

“We have issued an alert in various areas in Samba,” a security officer said.

The terror attack was carried out by 3 to 4 terrorists, who reportedly belong to the suicide squad of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and were heavily armed with assault rifles and Chinese grenades, according to Times Now.

8.26 am: My thoughts are with brave security personnel, tweets Omar Abullah

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was the first politician to react to the terror attack and said that his thoughts were with the brave policemen dealing with the attack.

Terrorists attack police station in Kathua, 1 officer dead, civilian injured

A policeman has been killed on early Friday morning after a group of militants attacked a police station in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

Three CRPF personnel and a civilian have been injured in the attack till now.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Times Now reports that the terrorists are believed to be holding several hostages inside the police station. A report on CNN IBN said that security forces have been rushed to the spot.

The militants attacked the Rajbagh police station in Kathua district in the early hours of Friday.

“Militants used automatic weapons and hurled grenades at the Rajbagh police station in Kathua district today morning. One policeman was killed in the attack and three were injured,” a senior police officer told IANS.

Exactly a year back, in March 2014, Kathua had witnessed a similar, audacious terror strike which left three people dead, including an army personnel.

Three militants had arrived in the Indian Army’s combat uniform. They, then stopped a car and opened fire.

Less than 24 hours after Kathua attack, militants open fire at Samba Army camp

Jammu: Suspected militants early this morning opened fire at a roadside eatery near an army camp on Jammu-Pathankot highway in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, injuring one person.

There was a firing on highway near a dhaba adjacent to an Army camp in Samba around 5:50 AM by suspected militants, security officials said.

In the firing, one civilian suffered injuries and has been shifted to a nearby hospital, they said, adding that the injured person was identified as Papu Yadav of Uttar Pradesh, a Vaishnodevi Pilgrim.

Representational image. AFP.Representational image. AFP.

Representational image. AFP.

The suspected militants also lobbed grenades at an Army 663 company unit of ASC at the Buchri belt of Meshwara area of Samba. Entire area has been cordoned off by the Army and police and firing exchanges are going on, officials said.

Jammu-Pathankot Highway has been closed for vehicular traffic as a precautionary measure, they added. This is the second such incident during past 24 hours.

‘Fidayeen’ militants in army fatigues stormed a police station in Jammu’s Kathua yesterday, killing three security personnel and two civilians, and leaving 11 others including Deputy SP wounded.

Two militants were also killed in the gun battle with security forces that lasted six hours. It was the first major militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir since the formation of
the PDP-BJP state government on March 1.

PTI

Terror attack in Kathua: Two militants, three security men killed

Jammu: Two militants in Army fatigues stormed a police station in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district early on Friday, killing three security personnel and two civilians and leaving 10 others, including a senior police officer injured, in the first major terror attack in the state since the PDP-BJP coalition government took charge this month.

The two terrorists, who were members of a fidayeen squad which had infiltrated overnight, were also killed in a fierce gunbattle with security forces that ended around noon.

Security personnel at the site of an encounter with militants, at Raj Bagh Police station in Jammu on Friday. PTI PhotoSecurity personnel at the site of an encounter with militants, at Raj Bagh Police station in Jammu on Friday. PTI Photo

Security personnel at the site of an encounter with militants, at Raj Bagh Police station in Jammu on Friday. PTI Photo

This is the first major militant attack in the state since the formation of the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP-BJP coalition government in the state on 1 March.

Dressed in Army uniforms, the militants stormed the Rajbagh Police Station in the wee hours, hurled grendes and opened indiscriminate fire.

“It is a fidayeen attack,” IGP Jammu Danish Rana said.

“In all, seven people have been killed. The two militants have been killed. Besides two civilians, two CRPF men, a policeman also died in the encounter. Operation has ended,” Rana said.

He said that 10 people including 7 CRPF men, 2 cops and a civilian were injured and have been hospitalised. The injured included a Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Rana said it appears that the militants infiltrated overnight from across the border to conduct the suicide attack on the police station.

The Director General of Police (DGP), J&K K Rajindra Kumar said the militants carried a large number of grenades, magazines and pistols to sustain themselves in the operation.

Some important documents and arms and ammunitions have been recovered, Rana said.

An injured CRPF constable Bharat Prabhu said the militants intercepted a jeep going from Jammu to Pathankot on the pretext of checking the vehicle.

The ultras then hijacked the jeep which had three passengers on board and fled towards the Rajbagh Police Station where they opened fire on a sentry and killed him. The militants tossed grenades at the police station and opened indiscriminate fire.

“We had gunned down one terrorist before we were injured,” Prabhu said.

The police station looked like a battle ground with bullet holes on the wall. The attack triggered panic among people living close to the police station.

“As the firing started at the police station, we closed our windows and kept our family on the ground floor. We spent several hours in fear,” Sham Lal, who lives close to the police station, said.

Blaming non-state actors for the Kathua terror attack, Chief Minister Mufti Mohmmad Sayeed on Friday warned them saying that the will of the people cannot be weakened by any gun.

“I want to warn those people (who engineered the terror attacks) that the will of the people cannot be weakened by any gun. I want to send them a message they should not create any hurdles in this (path of democracy),” Mufti told the Assembly.

“We have a strong resolve that we have come to change the history of J-K. We want to make J-K hub of peace and normalcy. Nobody can stop us,” he said.

Additional troops have been rushed to the spot and the Jammu-Pathankot Highway has been closed as a precautionary measure. Entire area in and around the police station has been cordoned off.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the DGP of Jammu and Kashmir and took stock of the situation. Singh has directed the Home Secretary to closely monitor the situation.

The attack figured in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly with Opposition members seeking an explanation from the government on the incident.

The issue was raised by NC MLA Devender Singh Rana, who wanted to know what steps were taken by the government to thwart such attacks. He said the House wants to know how the militant attack took place.

While condemning the attack, CPI (M) MLA M Y Tarigami said the House needs to show a united face in condemning such tragedies and expressed sympathy with the family of those killed in the attack.

Congress members led Ravinder Sharma staged a walkout from Legislative Council after staging protests in the well of the house over security failure.

“We condemn it. It is security failure of the government”, Sharma said.

Education Minister and PDP Chief Spokesman Naeem Akhtar said, “Violence has no place in society. It has to be eradicated. We will make efforts to stamp out militancy”.

“Today’s encounter has once again reaffirmed the fact that Pakistan is refusing to mend its ways,” Union Minister Jitendra Singh said.

Condemning the attack, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said, “These types of attacks have taken in the past also and the route has been repeatedly used by them.

“I can say with confidence that once the probe of this encounter is done, you will find that these militants might have infiltrated during the night. They found Kathua Police station as the first target and attacked it”.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President Gulam Ahmed Mir said the incident was due to “security lapses”.

There have been several such attacks in the area in the past years.

On March 28, 2014, three Pakistani fidayeen hijacked a vehicle along with the driver after killing a passenger in Hiranagar. They then attacked an Army camp at Janglot in which an Army soldier was killed. The three militants were subsequently killed.

On September 26, 2013, a group of Pakistani terrorists dressed in Army fatigues, killed at least 10 persons, including a Lt Colonel, in twin terror attacks on the Hiranagar police station in Kathua district and an Army camp in neighbouring Samba district.

On October 1, 2002, militants had shot dead seven people in a deadly attack on a passenger bus in the area.

PTI

J&K: Terrorists storm Kathua police station, kill policeman and take hostages

Jammu: A policeman has been killed on early today morning after a group of militants attacked a police station in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

Three CRPF personnel and a civilian has been injured in the attack till now.

Image used for representational purposes only. PTI.Image used for representational purposes only. PTI.

Image used for representational purposes only. PTI.

Times Now reports that the terrorists are believed to be holding several hostages inside the police station. A report on CNN IBN said that security forces have been rushed to the spot.

The militants attacked the Rajbagh police station in Kathua district in the early hours of Friday.

“Militants used automatic weapons and hurled grenades at the Rajbagh police station in Kathua district today morning. One policeman was killed in the attack and three were injured,” a senior police officer told IANS.

An exchange of fire ensued between security forces and the militants camping inside the police station. As this copy was being typed, television channels reported that a gun battle was at the site of the attack.

Exactly a year back, in March 2014, Kathua had witnessed a similar, audacious terror strike which left three people dead, including an army personnel.

Three militants had arrived in the Indian Army’s combat uniform. They, then stopped a car and opened fire.

NDTV reported on 28 March last year, “At around 5 am, the heavily armed militants allegedly stopped a Mahindra Bolero car on the Jammu-Pathankote highway and fired indiscriminately at the passengers, killing one of them. Three others were wounded. 
The militants got into the car and surfaced a little later near at the army’s “Rocket Regiment” camp close to the international border with Pakistan, where they fired at army men. One soldier was killed and two injured.”

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, expressed solidarity with those injured in the attack and the kin of the dead.

With inputs from IANS

Jammu and Kashmir government mulls shifting of residents to escape Pakistani shelling

Fallout of the Pakistani shelling: Jammu and Kashmir government is contemplating to settle thousands of families living in the vulnerable stretch along the international border (IB) in safer zones in the Jammu division.

Fallout of the Pakistani shelling: Jammu and Kashmir government is contemplating to settle thousands of families living in the vulnerable stretch along the international border (IB) in safer zones in the Jammu division. What is the govt’s plan?The government has identified large tracts of land which could be allotted to border migrants to start life afresh away from fear and terror of ever-blazing Pakistani guns along the international border. Under this plan the five marlas (one fourth of kanal; 20 kanals form one hectare) of land would be given to each family in living in one kilometre range along the IB in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district. How many families are to be relocated?There are 75,000 families living in the five kilometre range on the border in five districts of Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch. Official sources said border people of three districts –Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts — would be covered under this scheme of rehabilitation in the first phase. The government has identified land at all the three districts so that the border families could be rehabilitated in the safer zonesThe Kathua district administration has identified 1,729 families living in one kilometer stretch on the IB in the Hiranagar sector who will be given five-marla plot at safer zones which are off the range of Pakistani guns.”It was a cabinet decision of October where in we were told to identify land and give the report. Now our report will go and it will be placed before the cabinet which will then take the decision,” Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary, district development commissioner of Kathua district, told dna. Is land available for resettling the border residents?Thousands of kanals of land is available in the border districts which would be allocated to the people so that their future is secured. “We have thousands of kanals of land available. The government will decide when and where they would allocate the land (to border people)”, said Chaudhary. Why was the need felt of relocating the border people?Pakistani shelling has made the life of an ordinary person miserable on the borders. Fear and insecurity is reigning supreme near the IB. More than three people, including two Border Security Force jawans, were killed in the Pakistani firing on the International Border early this month. Hiranagar and Samba sectors were the worst hit by the Pakistani shelling recently. More than 10,000 people living along the borderline were shifted to temporary shelter camps in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu division after the tensions broke out on December 31. How many ceasefire violations were reported in Jammu and Kashmir?Official figures reveal that there has been 562 ceasefire violations on the Line of Control and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2014. Around 410 ceasefire violations occurred on the IB while 152 violations were reported on the LoC. Around 19 people, including five jawans, were killed and over 150 injured in the Pakistani firing.The escalation prompted shifting of more than 35000 residents located in the vulnerable zones on the borderline as a precautionary measure last year. Is ceasefire on the borders slowly breaking down?Official figures reveal there were a total of 347 ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir including 199 along the LoC in 2013. In 2012, 114 ceasefire violations were reported on the borders compared to 62 in 2011. During the last 10 years (2004-2013), 27 soldiers have been killed in various incidents along the LoC.

Pakistani rangers violate ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, target villages

Pakistani Rangers and BSF troops exchanged fire along the International Border in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, a BSF officer said on Monday.”Pakistani Rangers fired few small mortar bombs and small arms firing on Border out Posts along the IB in (Hiranagar belt of) Samba sector late last night after we fired few rounds on detecting suspected movement close to the IB”, the officer said.The firing exchanges lasted for a brief period, he said, adding there was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the exchanges.”There was no firing on civilian areas”, he said.The mortar shells were targeted on Karol Krishna and Londi BoPs along the IB in Hiranagar belt of Kathua district around 9.40 PM last night.The firing exchanges came after a few days of lull along the IB in Kathua and Samba districts of Jammu and Kashmir.Firing exchanges and ceasefire by Pakistan Rangers were witnessed along the IB in Kathua district on January 6.Five persons, including four jawans and a woman, died in the Pakistan firing and shelling along Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir in January. Over 10,000 people were also displaced due to the firing.

Pakistan Rangers not accepting protest notes over ceasefire: BSF

The Border Security Force on Tuesday said Pakistani troops were not accepting protest notes from India over ceasefire violations and that there was “no communication” between the two sides. “We want to restore normalcy along the border but we are forced to retaliate because Pakistan Rangers resort to firing on us,” Director General of BSF, DK Pathak said.”Pakistan Rangers are not accepting protest notes over ceasefire violations. There is no communication between the two sides,” Pathak said.He said that the ceasefire violation by Pakistan could be an attempt to divert attention of its public from the Peshawar incident. Nearly 140 schoolchildren were massacred in a recent terror attack at an army-run school in the Pakistani city. Pakistani troops targeted over 60 hamlets and scores of border posts in heavy overnight shelling in Kathua and Samba districts, with mortar bombs landing deep inside Indian territory.Nearly 10,000 people have fled from border villages after the latest round of ceasefire violations by Pakistan which has left four jawans and a woman dead since New Year eve while five Pakistani rangers were killed in retaliatory firing by India.

Heavy overnight shelling and firing by Pakistan along International Border in Jammu and Kashmir; nearly 10,000 people flee homes

Pakistani troops targeted over 60 hamlets and scores of border posts in heavy overnight shelling in Kathua and Samba districts, with mortar bombs landing deep inside Indian territory.Nearly 10,000 people have fled from border villages after the latest round of ceasefire violations by Pakistan which has left four jawans and a woman dead since New Year eve while five Pakistani rangers were killed in retaliatory firing by India.50 villages and many border posts were targeted in Kathua up to 2300 hours on Monday and the shelling resumed around 0400 hours today, Deputy Commissioner Kathua Shahid Iqbal Choudhary told PTI, adding it was so strong that mortar shells landed about four kilometres inside the Indian territory.The 82mm mortar shells landed in Sherpur, Chakra, Lachipur and Londi areas of Hiranagar sector, which are located deep inside Indian territory, he said.BSF troops also retaliated resulting in exchanges till 0700 hours today, the DC said.However, there was no loss of life or injury to anyone among civilians in the firing and shelling since last night, officials said.In Samba, Pakistani shelling continued till 22:30 hours last night targeting over 10 to 12 villages and several BoPs, SSP, Samba, Anil Magotra said.On January 3, two army jawans and a woman were killed while 11 people were injured in the firing. While Pakistani firing on January 1 had left two persons dead, including a BSF jawan, and nine injured. Five Pakistani Rangers had been killed in retaliatory firing. The cross border shelling has sparked fresh wave of fear prompting at least 9,000 people living in the border villages to migrate and take shelter in temporary relief camps set up by the Jammu and Kashmir government in safer places.Around 4,500 people have migrated from 11 villages after shelling across International Border in Kathua district. District administration has established 10 relief camps at Haria Chak, Hiranagar, Nagial, Plat, Chak Kanha, Banyari, Chadwal, Sherpur, Nagri and Sallan where 1,841 migrants of 491 families have been provided safe accommodation and basic amenities.

Pakistan ups the ante on International Border, kills one BSF trooper; over 9,000 villagers in samba, Kathua move to safer places

After a brief lull, Pakistani Rangers resumed unprovoked shelling on the Border Security Force (BSF) posts and civilian areas killing one jawan along the International Border (IB) in the Samba district of Jammu division on Monday.The cross border shelling has sparked fresh wave of fear prompting at least 9,000 people living in the border villages to migrate and take shelter in temporary relief camps set up by the Jammu and Kashmir government in safer places.Inspector General of BSF, Jammu frontier, Rakesh Sharma told dna that Pakistani Rangers started fresh firing and shelling from 2 pm which was continuing. “In the incident one of our boys was martyred,” he said.BSF troops immediately responded to the shelling to silence the Pakistani guns. “We are retaliating. The firing is continuing,” Sharma said.Pakistani Rangers also targeted border villages in the Hiranagar sector of Kathua district damaging more than 15 houses. “The shelling started at 2.30 pm in which 15 houses have been damaged,” Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary, district development commissioner of Kathua told dna.What has added a dangerous dimension to the shelling is that Pakistan Rangers are using long range weaponry to target the villages deep in the hinterland on the Indian side. “Their shells are now landing in four kilometer range”, said Shahid.Pakistani Rangers were earlier using mortar shells which could hit the target in the range of one and three kilometers. The Pakistani Rangers are now using long range mortars possibly 81 mm shells which can hit targets in four to five kilometers range.The firing has triggered massive migration from border villages in the twin districts of Samba and Kathua. “People are in process of shifting to safer places. So far more around 4,000 people have migrated in Samba,” Mubarak Singh, DDC Samba told dna.Sixteen temporary shelter camps have been set up in Samba district for the people displaced by the cross border shelling. A control room has also been established which is functioning round the clock to help the people in distress.Around 4,500 people have migrated from 11 villages after shelling across International Border in Kathua district. District administration has established 10 relief camps at Haria Chak, Hiranagar, Nagial, Plat, Chak Kanha, Banyari, Chadwal, Sherpur, Nagri and Sallan where 1,841 migrants of 491 families have been provided safe accommodation and basic amenities.”The number of people shifting from border villages is expected to rise given the fresh shelling,” said Shahid. Rajnath reviews internal securityAgainst the backdrop Pakistan resuming shelling targeting scores of Border Out Posts and civilian areas along International Border in Samba and Kathua districts, Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday chaired a high-level meeting in New Delhi to review country’s internal security. The attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma, Research and Analysis Wing chief Rajinder Khanna and other officials.Though officially meeting was described as ‘routine’, sources said the home minister told the security agencies to reply any provocation with full force. Officials said the situation along the International Border with Pakistan along with internal security was on agenda. The meeting was also told that security along the coastal areas in Gujarat has been tightened after a Pakistani boat was intercepted which later exploded near the Porbandar coast on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1.

Pakistani rangers violates ceasefire, targets Kathua and samba border posts in Jammu and Kashmir

After a day-long lull, Pakistani Rangers violated ceasefire again by targeting border posts in Kathua and Samba sectors, drawing retaliation from BSF.”Pakistani Rangers resorted to ceasefire violation and opened small arms firing in one post in Samba district and two areas in Kathua district late last night,” officials said told PTI.There was firing on Bobiyan and Pansar forward areas along international border in Kathua district since last night, Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said adding it was going on intermittently.In Samba district, there were two rounds of small arms firing on Ballard post in Ramgarh sub-sector last night, SSP, Samba, Anil Magotra said, adding that by and large there was calm along IB in Samba.BSF troops retaliated to Pakistani firing, they said.There was no loss of life or injury to anyone.However, residents of border villages continue to leave for safer areas in view of the latest round of ceasefire violations by Pakistan since New Year eve.There was no firing by Pakistan Rangers from night of January 3 till January 4 evening.Over 3,500 people have migrated from border villages in Samba and Kathua districts.Around 2,500 people have migrated from 11 villages in Kathua after shelling from across international border. 1800 people are in relief camps.Administration has provided bedding, tarpaulin, blankets, ration, lentils, firewood, drinking water and other basic items at these relief camps, Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said.Camp commanders and camp officers have been appointed for overseeing arrangements and provision of relief.Committees of camp inhabitants have also been constituted for coordination. Rs 5000 each were given to the families of 5 persons injured during firing yesterday, he said. In Samba district, over 1000 people have been put in shelter camps in Chichi Mata temple, high school and other buildings.On January 3, two army jawans and a woman were killed while 11 people were injured in the firing.On New Year eve, Pakistani firing had left two persons dead, including a BSF jawan, and nine injured while five Pakistani Rangers were killed in retaliatory firing by India.

Uneasy calm in Jammu and Kashmir border villages after repeated Pakistani firing

An uneasy calm prevailed in this last Indian village of Galard along the International Border in Samba district in Jammu and Kashmir with residents reluctant to return fearing cross-border firing from Pakistan.The residents in Galard say that every time there is firing from across the border they become the real targets. Since incidents of ceasefire violations from across the border have gone up, villagers in almost all areas along the international border in Samba, Kathua and Jammu district have been forced to leave their houses and cattle behind to take shelter in safer locations.”We don’t sleep in the night as we fear that a shell fired by the Pakistani side might anytime land on our house and kill us. Our children suffer the most…their education is hampered. They also become victims of psychological trauma,” Maninder Singh, a resident of Londi village, said today.Shankar, a resident of Galard, said, “People living in safe cities don’t know what we are going through. We literally die everyday.” Shankar, who along with a handful of villagers returned early this morning to the village to give fodder to their cattle, said they were forced to move to safer locations.”Even though we want that Pakistan must be taught a tough lesson for targeting innocent villagers, we also pray that peace must return so that villagers on both sides can lead a peaceful life,” said Vikram Mehra, a resident of Bobiya village of Kathua district.Deputy Commissioner of Kathua, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary told PTI that the villagers are scared to go back to their homes until a flag meeting is held and both sides agree to implement a ceasefire.”We are not in a hurry to send them back to their villages until the situation on the border becomes normal again. The residents say they will return only after a flag meeting between the two sides takes place,” he said.

Two army men and woman killed as Pakistan extends shelling to LOC

(Top)A villager shows the damage at the ceiling of his house after firing from the Pakistani side. (Below) Villagers move to safer places by police vehicle after shelling from the Pakistani side at Bainglad village in Samba district

PTI
Indo-Pak tensions have escalated after Pakistan extended the shelling to the Line of Control (LoC) after targeting the International border (IB) leaving two army men and a woman dead besides injuring 11 others in the last 24 hours.More than 2000 people living close on the IB have fled their homes and taken shelter in the relief camps in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu division. This followed the overnight shelling by Pakistani rangers on the civilian areas sparking fresh spell of fear among the villagers.Two Indian army men were killed and two others were injured when Pakistani army violated ceasefire and fired rockets on the Kanaya post on the LoC in Tangdhar sector along the LoC in Kupwara district of north Kashmir on Friday.”They (army) have said Pakistan fired either grenade or rocket which caused fire in the jungle. In the incident two soldiers were killed and two others were injured. It is the Kanaya post of 5-Grenadairs”, Mohammad Rashid, superintendent of police, Kupwara, told dna.Pakistani Rangers also stepped-up offensive on the IB on Friday night when they shelled the civilian areas and 13 border outposts (BoPs) of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu division. A woman was killed while nine other civilians including a 10 year-old-boy were injured in the overnight shelling.”One of the shells landed in the compound of a house (in Mangu Chak village) killing a woman and seriously injuring her 14 year-old-son. Three other civilians were also injured in the shelling. Around 10 to 20 houses have been damaged in the cross border shelling,” Mubarak Singh, district development commissioner, of Samba told dna.Four persons including a 10 year-old-boy were injured in Hiranagar sector when Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy shelling on the villages near the zero line of IB. Pakistani Rangers fired 51 mm and 80 mm mortar shells indiscriminately triggering fear among the local populace.”Around 500 to 600 persons have been shifted from the border villages which have been put up in five to six camps. We have set up 16 temporary shelter camps. Around eight to 10 villages are affected by the shelling. There are certain places where shelling has happened but people have not been affected”, said Singh.Sensing more trouble, a control room has been established in the office of deputy commissioner, Samba that will function round the clock. All the block development officers have also been directed to liaise with sarpanches and panches and issue advisory to people regarding safety measures during shelling.”We are advising people to remain indoors especially in pucca houses and not move unnecessary. It has helped us in a big away otherwise the casualty could have been much more,” Singh said.District administration of Kathua has established eight relief camps in which 1406 people from different border villages are camping. “Around 22 villages are affected by the firing. Around 1406 people have been put up in the eight relief camps”, Shahid Iqbal, district collector of Kathua told dna.

Pakistan firing kills two Army jawans, one woman; hundreds migrate from border villages as shelling intensifies

PTI
Two army jawans and a woman were killed while 11 people were injured as Pakistani troops targeted villages and security posts at various places in Jammu and Kashmir since last night which triggered migration of hundreds of people from some border areas.While the firing and shelling continued, Home Minister Rajnath Singh regretted that Pakistan is repeatedly targeting border areas of India despite being offered a hand of friendship. Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the LoC near Kanhaiyah Post last night by firing rocket propelled grenades into Tanghdar area, police officials said while citing the FIR lodged by the army. They said the Pakistani action caused death of two army jawans and injury to another. A BSF jawan, who was posted on duty in a nearby post of the force, was also injured in the incident, the officials said.Along the International Border, Pakistani troops targeted villages and 13 border outposts with heavy mortar shelling in Kathua and Samba districts of Jammu and Kashmir, leading to death of a woman and injuries to eight others. Shelling of villages triggered panic and migration from border villages and over 1400 people have been evacuated from hamlets in Samba and Kathua district, officials said. “Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked and heavy firing and mortar shelling on posts and civilian areas along IB in Samba and Kathua districts since 2130 hours last night,” Inspector General of BSF Rakesh Sharma told PTI.”BSF troops gave a befitting reply resulting in exchanges which stopped at 3 AM in the morning,” the IG said. Pakistan again started mortar shelling and firing targeting civilian areas since 7 AM, he said. He said all BoPs in three battalion areas of Samba and Hiranagar sub-sectors in Kathua district were targeted. A woman identified as Tori Devi of village Mangu Chack has been killed in the shelling and four civilians have been injured in the firing and shelling, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Samba, Anil Magotra told PTI.Four persons, including two women, were injured in Nauchak village in Kathua, Deputy Commissioner Kathua Shahid Iqbal said. IG BSF has also issued an advisory to the border people for evacution. Scores of houses have suffered damage and few animals have also perished in the firing, Magotra said. The SSP said buses have been kept ready for evacuation and “we are waiting for the firing and shelling to stop so that people are shifted to safer areas in shelter camps”.People have taken shelter in bunkers and are not venturing out, he said. The latest round of firing by Pakistan which started on New Year eve has left two persons dead, including a BSF jawan, and nine injured while five Pakistani Rangers have been killed in retaliatory firing by India. Commenting on this, Rajnath Singh said in Delhi, “Pakistan should stop ceasefire violations.” He wondered why Pakistan was continuously indulging in ceasefire violations despite having suffered badly every time.”While we are offering our hand of friendship to Pakistan, it is continuously indulging in ceasefire violations. We made a beginning by inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who shook hands with him offering not just friendship but also hoping to unite hearts. Despite that, Pakistan is indulging in ceasefire violations repeatedly,” he said. He said India wants good ties with all our neighbouring countries, including Pakistan.The renewed ceasefire violations come barely two months after the last major escalation that left 13 people dead and displaced 32,000 border residents in August and October. Over 550 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan occurred in 2014, the highest since the truce came into force in 2003, with the Indo-Pak border witnessing the worst such escalation during August to October which left 13 people, including 2 security personnel dead. A total of 19 people, including 5 jawans, were killed and over 150 injured in such incidents last year.

Pakistan ceasefire violation: Firing continues, 4 civilians injured

Stepping up ceasefire violations, Pakistan on Friday night resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing on several BSF posts along the Indo-Pak border in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir, drawing a strong retaliation from India which killed two Pakistan Rangers.The firing between BSF and Pakistani rangers continues. Four civilians have been injured.BSF sources said they have got reports that five Pakistani Rangers have been killed in the exchange of fire since yesterday, with two casualties post 9:30 pm.Today’s ceasefire violation was the fourth by the Rangers in as many days and the eighth in the last nine days. BSF Director General DK Pathak, who briefed Home Minister Rajnath Singh at 10.00 pm. said the force had thwarted a “major infiltration attempt” from across the border tonight and his troops were on high alert. “We have foiled a major infiltration bid that was being carried out from across the Chorgali border outpost under the cover of heavy ceasefire violation firing,” Pathak said.With the violations continuing unabated, Singh had ordered BSF to respond with “appropriate” action. The Home Minister also said the firing was unprovoked.A senior police officer in Jammu earlier told PTI that “Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling along International Border (IB) in Samba and Hiranagar sectors of J&K since 2135 hours tonight.” Also, IG BSF Rakesh Sharma told PTI that all the BoPs falling in three battalion areas of Samba and Hiranagar are being fired upon by Pakistan amid mortar shelling. Mortar shelling has also hit civilian areas, he said.There was firing on four Border Out Posts (BoPs) in Samba sector including at Regal, Challiyari, Suchetgarh and also on three to four such posts up to Bansantar forward belt in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district, he said.The firing and mortar shelling by Pakistani Rangers has come from Razab Sheed, Asif Sheed, Chak Bhura, New Pak and Dhandhar Posts, according to reports. BSF troops guarding the IB has strongly retaliated, resulting in heavy exchanges which were still ongoing when reports last came in from the area, the officer said.Police used speakers and announced that people should stay indoors and not venture outside, he said, adding that they have been also told to take shelter in bunkers. “Firing along international border was reported at 9.30 pm on 8 BoPs from areas of Pansar, Bobyan, Manyari and Pahadpur areas of Hirangar sector in Kathua district,” Deputy Commissioner Shahid Choudhary told PTI. Border residents have been alerted and advised to keep lights off and stay indoors. Evacuation will be initiated early morning in areas where required, he said.Ambulances and doctors have been deployed at Hiranagar for responding to emergencies and three buildings have been made operational as relief camps keeping in view the volatile situation prevailing in the area, he said. The Deputy Commissioner of Kathua along with senior officers of administration are camping in Hiranagar for monitoring the situation and coordinating relief and rescue operations.All local body and panchayat officials and prominent persons in 57 border villages have been asked over the telephone to communicate to the public the messages regarding safety measures. Relief camps have also kept in preparedness, he said.Eight BSF posts and villages at Patti, Pansar, Londi, Bobyan, Chakara, Lacchipura in Kathua district and seven border outposts in Samba district, including Manguchack, Chilyadiya, Regal, Chachval, Ramgarh, Maluchack and Nanga posts came under fire.Earlier in the day, the Home Minister said there is no doubt that Pakistan was trying to push militants into J&K and giving cover to such attempts by continuous firing along the border. “No doubt about that,” Singh told reporters in Delhi when asked whether the repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan were to cover infiltration attempts by militants. He said Pakistan has been firing towards Indian side along the IB in Jammu region and the BSF was giving a fitting reply. “BSF jawans are giving a fitting reply,” he said. Asked about Islamabad’s protest against heavy firing by India, Singh said it was Pakistan which started the firing and “we are just responding to it”.Pakistan Rangers on Friday targeted 13 BoPs in Samba sector a day after four Pakistani Rangers were killed in a sharp counter-attack following the death of an Indian jawan in cross-border firing. Singh had said Pakistan should desist from such violations. “Pakistan should not do this,” Singh had said.Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had also said that Islamabad does not seem to learn any lesson.