New Delhi: There has been heavy exchange of fire at the Line of Control (LoC) after ceasefire violations in several sectors by Pakistan, within hours of the deadly encounter at Handwara that claimed the lives of four soldiers and a J&K policeman Sunday.
Army sources said the soldiers posted along the LoC are inflicting “punishment” for the ceasefire violations by Pakistan at Balakote and Manakote in Poonch, Keri and Tarkundi in Rajouri, Pallanwala in Akhnoor and Uri in Baramullah.
“Ceasefire violations have taken place at five locations in Jammu and one in Kashmir,” a source said.
Sources said that the Army is responding with pin-point firing targeting the outposts and other establishments of the Pakistani Army and the launchpads of terrorists.
The commanders along the LoC have been told to respond strongly to ceasefire violations.
The development came just hours after four Army personnel, including the commanding officer of the Rashtriya Rifles’ 21 Battalion, and a sub-inspector of police were killed in action at Handwara.
Army beefs up presence ahead of summer
The Army has already increased its presence along the LoC ahead of the summer which sees major infiltration attempts.
Sources said the Army has also fully deployed its latest weapons including the US-made Barrett M95, an anti-material rifle that has a range of 1,800 m; the Victrix Armaments .338 Lapua Magnum Scorpio TGT, owned by Italian firm Beretta besides Israeli Spike Anti Tank Guided Missiles.
Ceasefire violations, however, are routine along the loC.
“The usual,” an officer posted at the LoC said when asked about the increased firing since Sunday evening.
There have been at least 1,197 ceasefire violations by the Pakistani Army this year — with as many as 411 of them in March. The number of violations was 267 in March last year.
According to official figures, Pakistani troops resorted to 3,200 instances of ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, which was the highest in the last 16 years.