New Delhi, Aug. 27: The Indian and Pakistani armies have exchanged fire violating the ceasefire on the Line of Control 97 times so far this year, according to sources in the defence establishment who also said that “Indian troops were replying to gunshots from Pakistan with a volley of fire”.
Earlier this month, defence minister A.K. Antony had said “armed forces have a free hand” to respond to the changing situation on the LoC. This has translated into more intensive but calibrated use of firepower by Indian troops who are not using heavy artillery.
The latest ceasefire violation was reported from Poonch this morning. Indian Army sources claimed that Pakistani troops opened fire at 5am. Three Indian posts — Detote, Kanga Nallah, Panjni — were targeted.
Media reports in Pakistan said four Pakistani soldiers were killed when Indian troops opened fire.
So far this month, there have been six ceasefire violations in the Kargil and Dras sectors. Since the ceasefire was agreed in November 2003, not a single violation was reported from Kargil and Dras till August 1.
Sources in the defence establishment said Indian troops were using medium machine guns and rocket launchers to target Pakistani positions. This is an escalation from small arms fire. But this is short of the use of heavy artillery.