Indian Army on Saturday strongly retaliated to Pakistani troops' shelling on forward posts along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district, news agency PTI reported citing officials. The firing from across the border started in Mendhar sector around 8:15 pm, prompting a strong and effective retaliation by the Indian Army, the official said.
Heavy exchange of fire was underway when last reports were received and there was no immediate report of any casualty in the firing, he added. The reports of unprovoked shelling by Pakistani forces came hours after Indian Army killed severals intruders along the Line of Control in Keran sector.
The hightened activities along the LoC has come in the backdrop of uncertainity in Kashmir following massive buildup of troops after Army recieved "confirmed intelliegence inputs" about a terrorist attack threat on Amarnath Yatra. The pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Baba Amarnath has been suspended.
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In an unprecedented advisory, the Jammu and Kashmir authorities have asked tourists and Amarnath Yatris to 'immediately' curtail their Kashmir stay and return “as soon as possible”. The advisory, which the government claimed was issued in wake of the security threats, triggered panic among the locals.
It all started with the two-day Kashmir visit of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval last month. Soon after Dhoval returned to Delhi, the Centre decided to move 10,000 troops of the paramilitary forces to Jammu and Kashmir. It was said that the decision to send additional troops was taken to strengthen anti-terrorist operations in the Valley.
However, the real panic started when reports came that the Centre has moved more 28,000 troops to Kashmir and directed the Air Force and Navy to remain on high alert. People of Kashmir as well as politicians started questioning the Centre’s move and asked whether the government was planning to tinker with the special status of the Kashmir.
Many believed that the massive troops build-up was part of Modi government’s promised plan to abrogate Article 35A. But Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik soon came out with a clarification and said that there was no plan to scrape Article 35A, which provides special status to people of the Valley and bars outsiders from purchasing immovable assets in the state.