India's Border Security Force today claimed to have foiled yet another bid by Pakistan-based militants to infiltrate Jammu & Kashmir under the cover of firing from across the border and thick fog in Kathua district of the state.
"There was movement of a group of militants along international border in Pallia area in Chilyari-khora forward belt in Kathua district last night," a senior BSF officer was authorised to say. ''Alert'' BSF troops opened fire foiling the infiltration bid, he said.
The Pakistani take on the border incidents that have continued since the dawn of the New Year is, of course, slightly different. Reports from Islamabad said intermittent exchange of fire between Pakistani Rangers and the BSF took place along the Working Boundary in the Shakargarh sector today – but added that the latest exchange of fire came two days after four Pakistani civilians were killed in Indian shelling in the Shakargarh / Sialkot sectors along the Working Boundary.
Pakistan's foreign office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said ''ceasefire violations by India along the Working Boundary and Line of Control were causing distraction'' in the fight against terrorism.
This is the fifth infiltration attempt in a week by militants under the cover of firing by Pakistani troops and thick blanket of fog along the international border.
The BSF had on Tuesday said that a large number of militants were waiting across the border for an opportunity to infiltrate and it has foiled four such attempts since New Year eve, when Pakistani troops started the latest round of ceasefire violations that have left four persons dead.
Director-general of the BSF D K Pathak visited border areas in Samba and Kathua to assess the situation, after which he said, "We had good proof of that (infiltration bids being engineered from Pakistan). What we feel that it could be one of the reasons for the provocation and we are on alert. We are watching. Whenever we feel that there is infiltration bid, we are doing the needful."
He added, "They (Pakistan) are trying all possible things ... but as I said that so far perhaps they have not succeeded in any kind of infiltration in this area."
Infiltration bids by militants from across the border are expected to increase with the Republic Day around the corner.
Ongoing examinations for Class XI have been put off in the areas most hit by Pakistani shelling.