An heavy exchange of fire and mortars was reported along the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Friday, as Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen. M.M. Naravane concluded his two-day visit to J&K and left for Delhi .
“Pakistan initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation along the LoC in Kanzalwan, Gurez Sector, Bandipora, on Friday morning by firing mortars and other weapons. A befitting response was given”, a Srinagar-based Army spokesman said.
An official said many forward defence locations were targeted by the Pakistani Army in the Bagtore Sector. “There were no reports of casualties”.
The shelling started around 11 a.m., according to locals. Scores of villagers fled in panic, especially in the Bagtore Sector.
“Necessary steps are being taken to shift the locals to safer locations”, officials said.
Around 4:30 p.m., the Pakistan Army also fired from small arms and launched mortar shelling in Poonch’s Balakote Sector, an Army official said.
An Army spokesman said Gen. Naravane had a “first-hand assessment of the situation along the LoC in north Kashmir” on Thursday.
Gen. Naravane meets Lt. Governor
An official spokesman said Gen. Naravane also met Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and “discussed issues related to effective management of internal and external security”.
A Raj Bhawan spokesman said, “The discussion was particularly in the context of attempts at infiltration and the steps required to be taken for more effectively dealing with terrorist activities.”
An official said Gen. Naravane, during his visit, commended the use of technology to ensure effective day and night surveillance across the LoC, “which has resulted in many successful operations to foil infiltration bids from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK)”.