The Jammu Kashmir Police on Saturday apprehended a civilian suspected to have been directing the Pakistan fire in Balakote and Hamirpur sectors of Poonch district on this side of the Line of Control (LoC).
Identified as Amir Hussain Shah of Dharana, a village falling ahead of the barbed wire fence along the LoC, sources said that two Pakistani SIM cards were also seized from him. The way Pakistani troops had been targeting forward Indian positions and the civilian areas for the last one month, the police were was already suspecting that someone on the Indian side might be directing the fire coming from across the LoC, sources pointed.
Pointing out that Shah was arrested on a specific tip-off, sources said that he had crossed over to Pakistan in 2004 and returned to this side only three years ago. He has a wife and five children.
His questioning is in progress, a senior police officer said, adding that they are trying to find out as to what he had been doing in Pakistan before returning to the Indian side.
For the last one month, Pakistani troops have been regularly targeting forward Indian positions and the civilian areas with mortar shells and other small weapons fire. On Friday also, Pakistani troops had resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and other small arms fire on the Indian side at Hamirpur, Balakote and in Sawjian sectors of Poonch district.
The firing along the LoC had come a day after both India and Pakistan at the Director General level talks between Border Security Force and the Rangers agreed to end ceasefire violations along the International Border between them. The firing initially started at Hamirpur around 4 am and it continued till 5 am. Later in the evening, it restarted from across the LoC in Balakote and Sawjian areas around 6 pm and continued till late night.
The Indian army retaliated. There was no casualty or damage to property on the Indian side, said a defence ministry spokesperson Lt Colonel Manish Mehta.
On Thursday also, an Indian soldier was injured in a sniper fire from across the LoC in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district. He had been identified as Launce Naik Bhupinder Singh of Sangrur in Punjab. They targeted Indian positions in Balakote sector even on Wednesday night, a few hours ahead of the Director General level talks between their Rangers and India’s Border Security Force taking place the next day.
Significantly there has been no let up in Pakistani firing along the LoC in Poonch district for the last one month especially after the killing of six civilians and injuries to over 20 others in Balakote sector on August 15-16. During retaliation by Indian troops, Pakistan too suffered heavy casualties and damage to property.
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