Boy exfiltrates to PAK from Poonch

Anubhav Misri. Dated: 1/12/2013 1:10:31 PM

*70 yrs old woman’s flight across LoC caused skirmishes: Report

Poonch, January 11: On a day that a leading national English daily, Hindu, broke the news about the present standoff at the Line of Control having been probably triggered by the flight of an septugenarian woman from Uri sector, in September last, in a bid to meet her family divided by the borders, fresh reports here suggested that a young boy last night exfiltrated to Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) from Degwar Terdwan village of Poonch district.
According to locals, a boy identified as Mohd Rashid, 24 son of Atter Din slipped from his house and exfiltrated via Line of Control to PAK last night. Atter Din father of the boy said, “we had a minor hot exchange of words with him and annoyed with this he left the house.” Din added that some locals witnessed him crossing mine fields and exfiltrating towards PAK. Early this morning, Atter Din along with Namberdar and a Panch of the village came here to Poonch and told the whole story to the security agencies.
Sources said that today he communicated a message to his family that he was residing in the house of his maternal uncle at Forward Kota on the other side of Line of Control.
When contacted, Shamsher Choudhary, SSP Poonch said that they got information that the boy was missing from his house and that police is investigating the case. He said the boy was a driver and an ‘alcoholic’. On the question of exfiltration, he said, “we are investigating and soon the fact will be come in front of us.” He said that as per his parents he fled many times from his house and returned back after few days so it was not easy to tell whether he had exfiltrated or not. He said, so far we have lodged a missing report of the boy and started investigation.
JAMMU newsdesk adds: According to the Hindu report, filed from Delhi, “Indian bunker construction on the northern reaches of the Line of Control — initiated after a grandmother crossed into Pakistan-administered Kashmir to be with her sons — sparked off a spiral of violence which culminated in the brutal killing of two soldiers in an ambush earlier this week.” The report quotes “highly placed military and government sources”.
According to the report: “Early in September, 70-year old Reshma Bi, left the village of Charonda, near Uri, to live with her sons and grandchildren across the Line of Control.
Ms. Reshma and her husband Ibrahim Lohar, a highly-placed military source said, had remained in Charonda after their sons crossed into Pakistan-administered Kashmir several years ago, to escape police investigations of their alleged role in cross-border trafficking. Police officers contacted by The Hindu said that Ms. Reshma appeared to have left in the hope of living out her last years with her family.
Ms. Reshma’s September 11 flight, a senior Srinagar-based military official said, set off alarms at the Uri-headquartered 19 infantry brigade. There, the incident was seen as highlighting vulnerabilities in defences along this stretch of the Line of Control. Charonda is located within metres of the Line of Control, outside of the three-layer counter-infiltration fencing which runs along the frontier.
Inside of a week after Ms. Reshma’s departure, troops of the 9 Maratha Light Infantry began constructing observations bunkers around Charonda, seeking to monitor the movement of villagers.
The construction work — barred by the terms of the Line of Control ceasefire which India and Pakistan agreed on in 2003 — provoked furious protests from Pakistani troops. Indian commanders, the military source said, conceded that the construction was in violation of the ceasefire.
However, they refused to stop work, arguing that the posts faced out towards the village, posing no threat to Pakistan. Early in October, the official said, tensions began to escalate. Pakistan even made announcements over a public address system, demanding that Indian troops end the construction work.
Following the announcement, shells followed. Pakistani troops fired mortar and high-calibre automatic weapons at Indian forward positions. The fire missed its intended target, but killed three villagers, 25-year-old Mohammad Shafi Khatana, 20-year-old Shaheena Bano, and a ninth-grade school student, Liaqat Ali. In the weeks leading up to the New Year, military sources said, hardly a week went by without occasional shots being fired at troops headed to the new observation posts.”
The Hindu further adds that finally, on January 6, matters came to a head, starting with a low intensity firing incident which finally blew out of proportion.
News agencies from Delhi add: The Indian Army on Thursday said that a news article titled "Runway Grandmother Sparked Savage Skirmish on LoC" published in The Hindu was factually incorrect.
In a point-by-point rebuttal, Colonel Jagdeep Dahiya of the Indian Army said Swami's contention that there was a link between a 70-year-old woman crossing over and the recent cease-fire violations by Pakistan was incorrect, as the woman, Reshma Bi, had crossed the Line of Control on September 26, 2011.
"Therefore, the recent cease fire violations cannot be linked to an incident 16 months old," said Colonel Dahiya. He further stated that the article mentions announcements made by Pakistan Army over a public address System at Uri demanding a halt to any construction work. This also was factually incorrect, he said.
The Hindu, however, barring admitting few technical errors in the report, has stood by the theory of the woman’s ex-filtration having led to a quick succession of events.



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