Army opens fire as Pakistan chopper violates Indian airspace along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir

Official sources said a white-colour chopper crossed into this side in Gulpur sector and hovered for sometime before turning back.

Published: 30th September 2018 02:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2018 10:44 PM   |  A+A-

A file image of BSF personnel patrolling near the International Border. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

JAMMU: A day after Indian and Pakistani Foreign Ministers exchanged barbs at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), a Pakistani chopper on Sunday violated airspace along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and retreated after being engaged by small arms fire by the Army.

Defence sources said a Pakistani chopper, probably a civilian helicopter, violated airspace in Gulpur sector along LoC in Poonch district of J&K at around 12.10 pm.

They said the helicopter, which was flying very high, came nearly 700 meters inside the Indian territory.

"After detecting the enemy chopper, the Army men at forward locations fired from small arms towards the chopper," they said.

READ HERE | Prime Minister of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir says he was on chopper; denies violating airspace along LoC

They said since the chopper was flying very high, it escaped the small arms fire and made an immediate retreat and flew back to other side of the LoC into the Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK).

The chopper remained in the Indian territory for about three minutes before making a hasty retreat, sources said.

Defence sources said the chopper was not targeted with anti-aircraft guns. "Only small arm fire was used".

Sources said the locals also saw the white coloured Pakistani chopper flying over the area before making the retreat.

"It is being seen as a provocative act on part of Pakistan army," they said.

Defence sources said Army is going to take up airspace violation by Pakistani chopper with Pakistani army officials.

"Any violation of airspace is always taken up at top level," they said.

As per norms recognised by India and Pakistan, the helicopters of the two sides are not supposed to come within one kilometre of the LoC while the fixed-wing aircraft cannot fly within 10 km of the LoC.

The incident comes after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's statement in the UN General Assembly yesterday, where she said Pakistan's commitment to terrorism as an instrument of official policy has not abated one bit.

She also said that even as the perpetrators of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York met their fate, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack Hafiz Saeed still roams the streets of Pakistan with impunity.

"In our case, terrorism is bred not in some faraway land, but across our border to the west. Our neighbour's expertise is not restricted to spawning grounds for terrorism; it is also an expert in trying to mask malevolence with verbal duplicity," Swaraj said.

She also told the world leaders at the General Assembly's 73rd session that the most startling evidence of Pakistan's duplicity was the fact that Osama Bin Laden, the architect and ideologue of 9/11 terror attack was given safe haven in the country. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, said that while India staunchly believes in peace and is committed to taking it forward, it would not come at the cost of compromising its self-respect and sovereignty.

Recalling the 2016 surgical strikes, Modi said Indian troops gave a befitting reply to the "audacity of a proxy war" under the "garb of terrorism".

Provocative Pakistan

  • In February this year, a Pakistani military helicopter flew close to the LoC in Khari Karmara area of Poonch district. The helicopter had flown within 300 meters of the LoC.

  • The airspace violation by the Pakistani chopper comes amid heightened tension along the LoC and International Border (IB) after the recent brutal killing of a BSF jawan by Pakistani troops.

  • At least 109 people, including 56 security men and 53 civilians have died in cross-border firing and shelling by Pakistani troops along the LoC and IB in J&K since 2016.

(With inputs from PTI)

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