NEW DELHI: In a strong message to the world, Indian army on Tuesday released a video clip of its counteroffensive action across the Line of Control (LOC) targeting Pakistan Army posts aiding infiltrators in Naushera sector in Jammu region as part of counter-terrorism operations to curb infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian army’s admission of carrying out offensive against Pakistani army posts has happened after nine of months when Special Forces commandos from Indian army carried out a surgical strike on terror launch pads located in the line of control.
According to official, the tempo of firing increased after Border Action Team(BAT) of Pakistan Army mutilated bodies of two Indian soldiers on May one in Poonch sector and the “punitive fire assault” by the Army took place on May 9-10 following repeated ceasefire violations.
Several Pakistani posts, which provide fire cover to militants during infiltration bids, were destroyed and the Army plans to continue with this strategy of “taking out” specific posts helping terrorists to sneak into the border state and this action will take place in Jammu and Kashmir divisions, the Army said here on Tuesday.
The “fire assault” in Naushera saw the Army using intense firing by anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), automatic grenade launchers (AGL), recoilless anti-tan guns and rocket launchers in direct firing mode to destroy the Pakistan Army posts. However, the extent of damage in terms of casualties on the other side is not known. A 24-second video clip was also released by the Army here on Tuesday showing concrete structures reduced to rubble amid plumes of smoke and balls of fire following the firing.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the government supports actions of Army across the LOC. Such actions are needed to ensure peace in Jammu and Kashmir, he said adding the Army is taking preemptive and measured actions to counter terrorism in Kashmir and disengage Pakistani posts across LOC supporting infiltration.
Sharing details of the action, Major General Ashok Narula said the assault “has caused some damage to the Pakistan Army posts, which are supporting infiltrations. This is part of our overall strategy to counter terrorism.”
Elaborating upon the overall strategy, he said as part of counter-terrorism operations, “punitive fire assaults” across LOC are being undertaken by the Army. “Pakistan Army is providing support to armed infiltrators by engaging Indian forward troops from their weapon emplacements and pill-boxes closer to the LOC.”
“At times they have not even hesitated to target villages in the proximity of LOC. As part of our counter-terrorism strategy and to ensure that infiltration is curbed and initiative remains with us, the Indian Army proactively dominates LOC. While doing so, locations aiding infiltration of terrorists are being targeted and destroyed to deny advantage to terrorists thus curbing infiltration attempts,” he said.
Expecting a spike in infiltration bids with melting of snow and opening of passes providing ingress routes, Narula said operations like Naugam where four terrorists were neutralised on May20-21 are the instances. This calls for even more pro-active counter-terrorism operations, he added. Incidentally, three soldiers were also killed while battling the infiltrators in this operation.
Justifying the pro-active approach, Narula said “we want peace and tranquillity in Jammu and Kashmir. For this purpose it is essential that the infiltrations along LOC are controlled, which is essential to bring down the numbers of terrorists in the state so that youths are not adversely influenced by terrorists from across, he said.
At present nearly 250 terrorists are active in the sensitive Kashmir valley and this number includes at least 110 to 115 local young men who have joined the militant ranks in the past few months. Moreover, 300 odd well militants armed and trained by Pakistan Army and ISI are poised to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir from at least 20-25 launch pads located close to the LOC in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(POK).
The Army had conducted surgical strikes in POK in September last year and destroyed several launch pads and Pakistan Army posts besides killing at least 35 militants.
Meanwhile Pakistan Army dismissed Indian army’s claims as "false".
"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) said in a tweet.