Army personnel killed, two others injured in firing by Pak troops along LoC
JAMMU: A series of daring, broad daylight attacks by a mixed
team of Pakistan-backed terrorists and suspected regular troops has thrown up
questions on defences along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu area, even
as intelligence inputs suggest that such activities are likely to increase in
the coming days and are linked to the change of government at the Centre.
Sepoy Bhikale Uttam Balu of the 2 Maratha Light Infantry (MLI)
was killed and two others injured in an attack along the LoC in Akhnoor on Sunday.
Sources said the attack is a cause of serious worry and there could be a
slip-up in defences at a time when extreme caution is needed.
According to sources, a Border Action Team that is likely to
have consisted of Pakistani regulars infiltrated almost a kilometre inside
Indian territory and planted a mine to target a patrol party of the MLI.
Dismissing speculations that it may have been an old mine, officials said the
explosive was planted deliberately to target the patrol.
Besides the mine blast that killed Balu, the patrol reportedly
faced small arms fire from a group of unidentified armed personnel who were
waiting in ambush. What has come as a surprise is that the attack was carried
out in broad daylight, at around 10:30 am, and the infiltrating party could not
be identified in advance by the range of sensors and cameras on the LoC.
“A search of the area yielded Pakistan-made mines and other
equipment which clearly suggests involvement of Pakistan and terrorists from
across the LoC,” said an Army spokesperson. Intelligence inputs suggest the
action was carried out by a group similar to the one involved in the January
2013 attack in Mendhar, in which two Indian soldiers were killed, including one
who was beheaded.
The Akhnoor attack, said officials, is the latest in a series of
daring attacks that have been carried out on the LoC. On Sunday itself, another
attack was carried out in the Rajouri sector that was almost identical in
approach to the Akhnoor action. At 8:30 am, an intruding party of armed men
tried to target an Indian Army patrol with an IED, before unleashing small arms
fire. The attack was foiled, but no casualties were inflicted on the intruding
On May 10, a Gorkha battalion posted in Poonch was attacked by
infiltrating militants, but at least two of them were killed after action by a
jawan that ended with hand-to-hand combat. Intelligence inputs suggest that the
coming days may see an upswing of attacks on the LoC, not all necessarily
planned to infiltrate troops.
As per Indian estimates, of
the 42 terror training camps near the LoC, at least 17 are active and conduct
armed training for militants. While ceasefire violations have been less this
year as compared to the same period in 2013, the terror infrastructure apparatus
is intact in PoK.