Bullets recovered from cross-border trader

Cross border trade has been temporarily suspended at the Chakan Da Bagh border outpost in Poonch District in the Jammu region.

Updated: Mar 03, 2013, 14:36 PM IST

Chakan Da Bagh: Authorities at the Chakan Da Bagh check post here have withdrawn the work permit of a cross-border trader after they recovered two AK-47 bullets from the goods he was importing from Pakistan.

Cross border trade has been temporarily suspended at the Chakan Da Bagh border outpost in Poonch District in the Jammu region as one empty shell and one live bullet were found mixed in a consignment of almonds that were being imported by trader Abdul Ghani Dewan recently.

Dewan has been blacklisted by the authorities along with the Pakistani trader he has been dealing with.

Indian traders have objected to the banning of Dewan, declaring that he was innocent. Dewan has said that he is ready for any investigation as he is not guilty.

"I want that a high-level enquiry should be conducted by the authorities. I am an Indian. We are not indulging in arms smuggling. I have been working here since long. I am being targeted and the way out of this is that an enquiry should be conducted. I have no idea about all this," said Dewan.

The authorities said the traders have not given any formal declaration for striking work over the matter.

The custodian of the Chakan Da Bagh trade centre, Krishan Lal, said the final decision regarding Dewan would be taken by the higher authorities.

"Earlier, the authorities held a meeting with the traders under the aegis of the Deputy Commissioner. The traders presented their views. So, it is upto the higher authorities as to what kind of decision they would take. The meeting was conducted in the presence of the security agency that imposed this ban. We are waiting for the decision of the higher authorities," he said.

Cross border trade between India and Pakistan suffered a brief setback when both countries got involved in an exchange of firings along the Line of Control (LoC) earlier this year in January.

Trade between both the countries was resumed in February after the ceasefire violations were settled between both armies.

In January, three Pakistani and two Indian soldiers were killed in the worst outbreak of tit-for-tat violence in Kashmir since India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire along a de facto border there nearly a decade ago.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since partition in 1947, two of them over the Himalayan region that both claim but rule in part.

However, firing and small skirmishes are common along the internationally recognised 740-km (460-mile) LoC despite the ceasefire that was agreed in 2003.