THE ARMY said on Monday that seven Pakistani soldiers, including a Major, were killed in action along the Line of Control in Janglote area opposite Mendhar sector.
Identifying the dead Pakistani Army officer as Major Amjad, sources said the action was carried out in retaliation to the unprovoked firing from across the LoC. Official sources in Delhi confirmed that there was no raid across the LoC, and the casualties on the Pakistani side occurred during effective counter to a ceasefire violation.
Stating that Pakistani troops continue to target Indian positions, a senior Army officer said, “Though we responded strongly and effectively on Saturday as well, we retaliated on Monday, resulting in seven fatal casualties and four injuries on Pakistan’s side in Janglote area across the LoC opposite Mendhar”.
On Saturday, Lance Naik Yogesh Muralidhar Bhadane, 28, from Dhule district of Maharashtra, was killed during firing from across the border in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district. Sources said the dead and injured Pakistani soldiers are from 801 Mujahid Battalion, under Pakistan’s 3 PoK Brigade.
Sources said Army personnel noticed movement of some troopers on Pakistan side, opposite Mendhar sector, in the morning. Around 10:15 am, Pakistani troops started unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire on forward Indian positions in Mendhar’s Dehri Dabsi area. The Indian troops retaliated, killing seven Pakistani soldiers.
Pakistan, however, confirmed only four deaths. A statement issued by Pakistani Major General Asif Ghafoor said that four “Pakistani soldiers attained shahadat along the LoC in Jandrot, Kotli sector. Troops were busy in line communication maintenance when they were fired upon and hit by heavy mortar round… Exchange of fire killed three Indian soldiers while a few (were) injured.”
The Indian Army denied any casualties.
There were 860 incidents of ceasefire violations along the border in 2017 — a sharp rise from previous years. Last month, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had visited forward posts along the LoC in Rajouri district and exhorted the troops to “remain vigilant” and “ever ready”.
Sources attributed the ceasefire violations to a “growing desperation” on Pakistan’s side to “push in armed terrorists” before closure of the mountain passes for the winter.