Army crushes Pak posts in punitive fire assaults

Govt, Cong laud military action, Islamabad says it's all false
Report by: 
Agencies
NEW DELHI
23 May 2017

The Indian Army today said it launched "punitive fire assaults" on Pakistani positions across the Line of Control, inflicting "some damage", days after two of its troopers were beheaded.

It also released a video of the military action which showed some structures in a forested area crumbling in a heap under the impact of repeated shelling. Though the Indian Army did not give much operational details of the retributive assault across the Line of Control (LoC) against Pakistan Army positions in Naushera sector of Jammu and Kashmir which were "aiding" infiltration, sources in the force said the strike was carried out on May 9, nine days after two Indian security personnel were beheaded.

"A recent action by our troops in the Naushera Sector has caused some damage to the Pak Army posts, which are supporting infiltrations. This is part of our overall strategy to counter terrorism," Additional Director General of Public Information Maj Gen A K Narula told reporters here. Sources also said the strike was a message to Pakistan that the Army will take stronger action with increased frequency against any infiltration attempts from across the border. The 22-second video showed concrete structures being reduced to rubble amid plumes of smoke and balls of fire. However, the area of the operation was not clearly identifiable in the clipping. "As part of our counter-terrorism strategy and to ensure that infiltration is curbed and initiative remains with us, the Indian Army proactively dominates Line of Control.

"While doing so, locations aiding infiltration of terrorists are being targeted and destroyed to deny advantage to terrorists thus curbing infiltration attempts," said Maj Gen Narula. There was no official word on the casualty on the Pakistani side. The Army sources said rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles and automatic grenade launchers and recoilless guns were used in the strike. He said as part of the Army's counter-terrorism operations, "punitive fire assaults" across line of control are being undertaken. Maj Gen Narula said infiltrations are likely to increase with melting of snow and opening of passes, and referred to the recent incident in Naugam where four terrorists were neutralised on May 20-21. "This calls for even more proactive counter-terrorism operations.

"We want peace and tranquillity in the state of J&K. For this purpose, it is essential that the infiltrations along Line of Control are controlled which is essential to bring down the numbers of terrorists in J&K so that youths of J&K are not adversely influenced by terrorists," he said. The Union government today came out in support of the Army's action against Pakistani posts, saying such measures are needed for peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Defence minister Arun Jaitley said the Army is taking such "preemptive" and "measured" actions to counter terrorism in the Kashmir Valley. "Government supports the actions of Indian Army across LoC. Such actions are needed to ensure peace in J&K," Jaitley tweeted. "Indian Army is taking preemptive and measured actions to counter terrorism in valley and disengage Pak posts across LoC supporting infiltration," he said on Twitter.

The Congress today lauded the Army for its action but questioned what the government was doing about destroying terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The Opposition party also sought to know why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not raising at the international fora the issue of increase in infiltration from Pakistan and why international pressure was not being exerted on the neighbouring country. "We salute the valour and sacrifice of the Indian Army in Naushera sector as they have destroyed a Pakistan post which was assisting Pakistani terrorists to infiltrate," Congress in-charge of communications Randeep Surjewala said. Surjewala said the Army also took action on May 20 and 21 in the Naugam sector of Kashmir where four infiltrating militants were killed and three army personnel lost their lives in the process. The Congress spokesman asked the Modi government as to what it was doing to destroy the terror camps in PoK from where terrorists are being pushed into India. Surjewala said infiltration of militants from Pakistan has increased and it has been admitted by the Indian Army. "What is the NDA government doing... Everyday, Pakistan is pushing terrorists into India and the Indian Army is fighting them.... Our Army is making supreme sacrifices," he said.

However, Pakistan Army today dismissed as "false" India's assertion that it decimated a Pakistan Army post in the Naushera sector. "Indian claims of destroying Pakistani post along LoC in Naushera Sector and firing by Pakistan Army on civilians across LoC are false," Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet.