Friday, Nov 28, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Gen. Vij's two-day visit beginning tomorrow was planned before both sides accepted the ceasefire proposal and was part of his fortnightly tour to the forward areas, the last one being to Nagaland and Manipur in the east. But the visit will now be used to review the situation on the LoC and re-examine the conduct of counter-insurgency operations in the light of changed situation, said officials.
But for three bullet shots heard from the Pakistan side opposite the Naushera sector near Jammu, guns have remained silent along both sides of the border for the second straight day after India and Pakistan agreed on the ceasefire. "We are not taking note of the incident. It was not even clear at whom the shots were fired at," said a senior officer.
While the troops refrained from exchanging artillery and small arms fire, there was no let-up in the counter-insurgency operations.
In the evening, six encounters in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir took place between militants, on the one hand, and the Army and paramilitary personnel, on the other. The day's tally stood at 20 incidents of troops pursuing terrorists all over the State.
India expressed satisfaction with the current monitoring mechanism of a hotline between the two Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) and felt that the frequency of the talks from every Tuesday of the week could be increased, "if required", to clear misunderstandings or address problems in implementation. All issues are now resolved through the DGMOs and, as of now, flag meetings between the sector commanders are not being considered.
Officers pointed out that these were early days and if the need was felt, the commanders of problem sectors could be asked in future to hold flag-meetings.
While the DGMOs will discuss problematic issues, the Indian monitoring mechanism will comprise "troops in forward areas determining if shells are landing on their positions" and sending a situation report to their headquarters.
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