Timing of ceasefire violation, a matter of speculation: Omar Abdullah

Last Updated: Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 00:57

Zee Media Bureau/Sushmita Dutta

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah hit out at Pakistan today after yet another incident of ceasefire violation on Friday morning. This incident has happened at a time when the Defence Minister is about to visit the state, saying this is a matter of grave concern and the there should be some introspection over the issue.

Pakistan troops today violated the ceasefire by targeting Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir with heavy firing and mortar shelling, drawing retaliation by Indian forces.
In Srinagar, Omar Abdullah told reporters, “The reports that I have received say that it was an intense exchange of fire, on both sides of the LoC. There were reports of shelves having landed in civil areas as well. This is not something that is new for us. Such things keep happening along international borders.”

“I can only appeal that calm be maintained along the border. This is the biggest measure of confidence given to people of Jammu and Kashmir by both the governments of India and Pakistan, but I hope that it is maintained,” he added.

Abdullah further questioned the timing of the ceasefire violation a day ahead of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley`s first visit to the state since assuming office.

The J&K CM wrote on microblogging website twitter- “Significant ceasefire violation in Rajouri & Poonch with reports of some shells having landed in civilian areas. Some livestock loss.”

"Is it just a coincidence that the Defence Minister is visiting J&K, for his 1st visit, to review the security situation tomorrow?" Omar added.

Pakistan troops fired 81-mm mortar shells and directed automatic and small-arms fire at Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Mendhar-BhimberGali-Keri forward areas of Poonch district at around 0730 hours today, said a senior Army officer.

No casualty or damage has been reported on this side of the LoC due to the firing, he said.

Indian troops guarding the border effectively replied with similar calibre weapons, he said, adding that the "exchanges occurred in three forward areas".

The firing comes a day after an IED blast in the Tarkundi forward area along the LoC in Poonch in which one jawan was killed and three others injured.

Between end of April and mid-May, 19 incidents of ceasefire violation were reported along the LoC here.

In 2013, 12 jawans were killed and 41 injured in 149 ceasefire violations and firing incidents by Pakistan troops on forward posts, civilian areas and patrolling parties along the Indo-Pak border.



First Published: Friday, June 13, 2014 - 18:36

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