India to take up with Pak issue of firing along LoC, IB: Singh

Last Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012 - 21:20

Jammu: India will take up with Pakistan the issue of unprovoked firing along International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Secretary R K Singh said today, indicating that it could be linked to the recently unearthed secret tunnel.

Singh, who reviewed the security situation along IB and LoC, did not rule out the presence of other tunnels similar to the 400-metre underground passage along India-Pakistan border in Samba district which as detected on July 28.

"We cannot rule out anything-- that is why we will be alert," Singh said while replying to a question about possibility of more tunnels along the border.
"We will also raise issue of stopping firing with Pakistan," he told reporters close to IB at Octerio BOP, 50 kms from here.

Singh, who visited forward areas along IB in Suchetgarh, Octerio and Abdulian in R S Pura sub-sector in Jammu district, reviewed the situation along the border line in view of the increasing incidents of firing and ceasefire violations in August.

Regarding the firing from the Pakistani side, he said "one reason which we could make out is to that probably it was to mask the construction of tunnel, which is in our sector.

"Normally what we used to see was sporadic firing that they wanted to cover infiltration," he said, adding that "in other sectors (chilyari) --we understand that firing would have been done to show that we do not detect the tunnel".

Singh said while in some sectors, "some reasons for firing are apparent, but in other areas it make us suspicious and we need to take it up with Pakistan."
Asked if the firing was aimed at halting the Geological Survey of India from uncovering any "tunnel network", he said, "They cannot stop them (GSI. Survey will happen. Every two to three months, we will carry the survey".

Regarding the demand of border dwellers to resettle them in safer areas, Singh said "it is difficult task to rehabilitate all the people living along borderline".
"Firing has been going on here in the past. We will talk to Pakistan over this firing--recently what we had talked to them to make the agricultural field ahead of fencing cultivatable," he said.

Singh said that 4,600 acreas of land across fencing is being cultivated. "We will make it further easy for them to cultivate land," he said.

Asked whether Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) was discussed at his meeting at Army`s Northern Command with senior army officials, he said, "That (AFSPA) is not on the agenda. I have come here to review the situation along IB and LoC. That is it."


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First Published: Friday, August 24, 2012 - 21:19

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