An Indian soldier was killed and another wounded in yet another instance of unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops from across the LoC in the Poonch sector on Saturday night and again on Sunday morning.
Sources said the firing was intended to provide cover to a group of infiltrators who managed to cross over to the Indian side.
While the firing at night caused no casualties, the resumed firing in the morning killed Chiba, a jawan of the 1 Assam Battalion, while another jawan was seriously wounded.
Offically, however, the Indian army has denied the Pakistani action. “It was a gun battle between the army and the infiltrators,” said a senior army officer.
It was not clear whether the infiltrators had been pushed back or had managed to escape into Indian territory.
With winter only six to eight weeks away, terrorists seeking to foment trouble in Kashmir need to cross over before heavy snowfall begins. There have already been 300 infiltration attempts — both north and south of the Pir Panjal range.
There have been 37 violations so far of the ceasefire agreement between Indian and Pakistani troops in November 2003, 23 of them in the last four months.
Another fierce gunbattle broke out between militants and army troops in Gool area of Ramban district on Sunday evening when the army launched a search operation in the area. Army sources said two militants have been killed so far.
Troops of the 27 Rastriya Rifles, working on a tip-off, busted a militant hideout in Oran-Rathiri area of Poonch district, recovering 10 Chinese-made hand grenades, and several other lethal ammunitions.
(with agency inputs)