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Surgical Strikes aftermath: Indian soldier in Pak custody, cross border firing continues

After the surgical strike carried out by India across the LoC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, security forces were on Thursday engaged in a fierce battle with terrorists in Mendhar sector of Poonch in Jammu and

India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: September 30, 2016 13:08 IST ]
Cross border firing escalated a day after India conducted Surgical strikes

After the surgical strike carried out by India across the LoC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Pakistan Rangers on Friday restored to indiscriminate firing at Indian positions in Jammu and Kashmir's Akhnoor sector of the International Border (IB).

The police said Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire agreement by firing without any provocation at Border Security Forces (BSF) positions in Pallanwalla area.

"Pakistan Rangers used automatics and small arms to target BSF border outposts," the police said, adding "Firing exchanges started at 12.30 a.m. and lasted until 1.30 a.m." 

Security forces were on Thursday engaged in a fierce battle with terrorists in Mendhar sector of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier,  Indian army announced that it had conducted ‘surgical strike’ in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and caused significant casualties in the attack.

The strikes, which included para commandos and helicopters, are India's first direct military response to the September 18 Uri attack that left 19 Indian soldiers dead.

The Indian Government’s decision, meant to signal to Pakistan that it is no longer willing to tolerate cross-border infiltration, could set a new norm for action across the Line of Control by both militaries, experts have said.

However, Pakistan has denied the strikes and accused India of cross-border firing that killed two Pakistani soldiers. 

The Pakistani military's press wing, however, said, "This quest by Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross border fire as surgical strike is fabrication of truth. Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, same will be strongly responded," it added.

Later, Pakistan media claimed that its army had killed  8 Indian soldiers and captured one alive, a claim which was denied by India.

Indian Army said one soldier inadvertently crossed over to Pakistan but denied he was part of the surgical strike. They insisted that the Indian military suffered no casualties.

Chandu Babulal Chauhan, a soldier serving with the 37 Rashtriya Rifles, was captured after he “inadvertently crossed over to the other side of the Line of Control”, an Indian Army official said.

Avoiding connecting the capture to firing incident, he said such incidents of people including civilians crossing the frontier by mistake have happened in the past from both sides.

Building a case in favour of India, he added that those who strayed are returned.

“Pakistan has been informed [of the soldier's crossing] through the DGMO on hotline,” ANI News quoted Indian Army sources as saying.

In recent hours, Pakistan had stepped up violations of the ceasefire struck in 2003 along the Line of Control (LoC).

Lt General Ranbir Singh, the army's Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), said the strikes inflicted  "significant casualties" on the terrorists "and their supporters". Initial reports say, around 35 terrorists have been killed.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has dismissed the Indian claims of surgical strikes and called it a cross-border fire.

Pakistan had also warned that it would not sit peacefully if any such attacks follow into its soil.

Tension between India and Pakistan are on all time high after four terrorists had stormed an Army camp in Uri on September 18 and killed 20 soldiers. 

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