SRINAGAR: wo foiled infiltration attempts in a week to go with unprovoked shelling by Pakistan have confirmed suspicions that terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir are active and around 300 terrorists are still waiting for an opportunity to cross over, BSF (Kashmir) inspector general Rajesh Mishra said on Sunday.
“Security forces are ready to foil all infiltration bids that will be made before heavy winter snowfall blocks the infiltration routes,” Mishra told reporters at the wreath-laying ceremony of slain BSF sub-inspector Rakesh Doval, who was killed in action along with four soldiers and as many civilians when Pakistan violated its ceasefire with India across multiple sectors last Friday.
India retaliated to the mortar attacks along the 778-km long LoC the same day, reportedly killing six to seven Pakistani soldiers and destroying posts, bunkers and fuel dumps on the other side. Shelling had been reported in Baramulla, Dawar, Keran, Uri and Naugam, hours after a terrorist infiltration bid was foiled in the Keran sector of Kupwara.
The fresh Keran infiltration bid came barely five days after an Army captain, two soldiers and a BSF constable lost their lives thwarting a similar intrusion in the area. India has recorded as many as 4,052 ceasefire violations by Pakistan already this year — smashing all annual records over the last 17 years — and lost around 20 soldiers and an equal number of civilians, with many more being grievously injured.
Friday’s cross-border shelling also injured some security personnel and civilians, besides causing massive damage to civilian property. “Our troops gave a befitting reply and destroyed several Pakistan army camps, launch pads and ammunition depots,” IG Mishra said, adding that human rights organizations must take note of the civilian casualties and destruction to property in the breaches of truce.
According to reports, around two dozen residential houses in different places in Uri sector — Kamalkote, Hajipeer, Bandi Sarai, Sultan Daki, Balkote, Churanda, Samali Boniyar, Mayan Boniyar, Hil Pathar Boniyar, and Rampore — suffered substantial damage in the intense shelling. Reports of several unexploded shells scattered in the area triggered panic among residents.
Uri SDM Reyaz Ahmad Malik said, “We have asked separate teams of revenue and police departments to visit and ascertain the damage caused in the affected areas. We have also intimated Army’s bomb disposal squads to detonate the live shells on a priority basis if found anywhere in the area.”
Meanwhile, Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen BS Raju and all ranks paid homage to the slain Army personnel — Havildar Hardhan Chandra Roy (38), Naik Satai Bhushan Rameshrao (28), Gunner Subodh Ghosh (22) and Sepoy Jondhale Rushikesh Ramachandra (20) — at Srinagar on Sunday.
Havildar Roy and Gunner Ghosh of the artillery regiment were deployed in Uri sector while Naik Rameshrao and Sepoy Ramchandra of the Maratha Light Infantry were posted in Gurez Sector, Lt Gen Raju said.
Havildar Roy, who joined the Army in 2001, belonged to Mhedhipara village in Assam’s Dhubri district and is survived by his wife and son. Naik Rameshrao, who joined the force in 2011, was from Kotal village in Nagpur and is survived by his parents.
Gunner Ghosh, from Raghunathpur village in West Bengal’s Nadia district, had joined the Army in 2017 and is survived by his wife and parents. Sepoy Ramachandra, a native of Bahirewadi village in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district, had joined the force in 2019 and is survived by his parents.
Lt Gen Raju also saluted BSF SI Rakesh Doval for his supreme sacrifice. The mortal remains of the martyrs will be taken to their native places where they would be laid to rest with full military honours, he said.