Army foils BAT attack in Poonch; militant killed, three soldiers injured


Srinagar: Army on Monday said troops foiled attack by Pakistan’s notorious Border Action Team (BAT) along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir by killing a militant and injuring two others. Three army men also sustained injuries in the attack.

Defence spokesman in Jammu, Lt Colonel Devender Anand said at around 5.15 pm yesterday, Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing from small arms and mortars towards the army men deployed in forward posts on the LoC in Gulpur, Khari Karmara area in Poonch distirct.

“The army men also effectively retaliated with similar calibre weapons,” he said.

Anand said during the exchange of fire, troops noticed some movement near the LoC.

He said the BAT team, comprising Pakistani commandos and heavily armed militants, tried to sneak in from across the LoC in Gulpur area of Khari Karmara to launch an attack on an army post.

Anand said the troops engaged the group with effective gunfire and there was immediate retaliation from the group.

“The Pakistani troops continued to provide cover fire to the BAT team to launch the attack. In the ensuing firefight, an armed intruder was killed and two others sustained grievous injuries and returned back towards Pakistani post,” he said.

The spokesman said during the subsequent search and sanitization operations conducted by troops in the area, a body in combat fatigues was recovered.

“Three live RPG grenades,  4 disposable Rocket Launchers, 2 IKOM radio sets, 1 AK Magazine, 4 UBGL grenades, 7 Hand grenades, PIKA belt fired, 1 mobile phone, 3 back packs, medical satchel and a Pakistan flag was recovered,” he said.

Sources said three army men also sustained injuries in the gunfight with the BAT team and were evacuated to military hospital.

They said condition of one of the injured soldier is critical.

Lt Col Anand said recovery of heavy weapons including disposable rocket launchers, rocket propelled grenades and incendiary ammunition clearly indicates implicit support of the Pakistan army to militants to target and cause causalities while maintaining a degree of deniability.

He said after the recent fidayeen attack on military station at Sunjwan in Jammu, Pakistan has refused to accept bodies of three Jaish militants killed in the two day long encounter with security forces.

“We will also be offering to hand over body of the slain intruder to Pakistan Army,” he said.

The spokesman said Pakistan continues in its nefarious designs of supporting and abetting infiltration across the LoC and accused Pakistan of failing to respect and fulfill the November 2003 ceasefire agreement and Jan 2004 commitment of “not allowing its soil to be used for terrorism against India”.

“It is clear that Pakistan has never been interested to bring about peace and stability in J&K. They have been vitiating the atmosphere both along the LoC & hinterland. The army is keeping a strict and constant vigil across the LoC and all security personnel are prepared to thwart any nefarious designed of Pakistan sponsored militants”.

A 55year-old mentally challenged man was shot dead by security forces near Air Force Station in central Kashmir’s Budgam district during the night.

A police spokesman said the individual entered the security zone area and crossed the security fence and came close to the air force station perimeter wall during the night.

“Despite repeated warning from the sentry, the persons did not stop. The sentry also fired some warning shots. However, when he did not stop, the sentry fired towards him causing his death,” he said.

He said spot examination revealed that the individual was 55 years mentally retarded person, who was later identified as Syed Habibullah Shah of Soibugh village of Budgam.

Later, hundreds of people attended the funeral prayers of the deceased amidst chanting of pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. The area observed complete shutdown against the mentally retarded man’s killing.