Pakistani Intruder Killed During Infiltration Bid Along LoC in J&K’s Kupwara

The Indian army said it killed a member of border action team (BAT) near the Indo-Pak volatile fence on Saturday, in an unusually early infiltration bid.

The BAT or suicide squad member was shot in the afternoon of the first day of the new year, around the same time when Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged baskets of the sweets at a few places along the Line of Control.

Barring a few instances, the LoC was very cold this year compared to the last 30 years when ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts would be a regular affair. A surprising truce agreement on the border between the director general military officers of India and Pakistan in February last year brought the ceasefire violations to almost a naught and infiltration bids to a trickle. However, few infiltration bids in Poonch and Rajouri area led to a massive encounter in which nine soldiers lost their lives.

Infiltration through the LoC could generally begin in March and peak in May and June, however, this one came in January when snow had lashed the Valley heights. The army said the militant was killed on Saturday afternoon in Jumagund – the first village after the LoC is crossed from the Keran sector.

On Sunday, the army told reporters they foiled an infiltration attempt by killing Shabir Malik, a BAT operative just when they laid an ambush on likely infiltration routes. The army shared pictures of the slain militants killed in few inches of snow, weapons and documents recovered in his possession with media.

“In a complete breach of the ongoing ceasefire understanding between the two armies across the Line of Control an infiltration or BAT action was attempted in the Keran Sector of Kupwara district on January 1 (2022). Swift action by the troops deployed at foiled the bid and eliminated the militant,” Major General A Pendharkar, GOC 28 Division told reporters.

The militant Shabir Malik, a Pakistani national, was equipped with weapons, ammunition and warlike stores,” he said.

The incident site is located on the Pakistani side of the Anti-Infiltration Obstacle System, kept under surveillance by the Indian Army to effectively counter any nefarious activity by the infiltrators or Pakistan Army,” he added.

The GOC said the attempt was a complete breach of the ceasefire understanding between the DGMOs.

He said the armed intruder was dressed in Pathani suit and black jacket and detected moving from areas under the control of Pakistan Army across the Line of Control at around 1500 hours on the first day of 2022. Subsequently, he was killed. An AK 47 rifle, seven grenades and large quantity of ammunition were recovered from him.

The army said the route adopted by the militant was similar to the one used on April 4, 2020 during Operation Rangadori Bhaikh in which five militants were eliminated.

On searches, army said a Pakistani National identity card and vaccination certificates (issued by Ministry of National Health Services Regulation & Coordination Government of Pakistan) identifying him as Mohd Shabir Malik were recovered from him. Besides a photo of the infiltrator in Pakistan army uniform wearing name tab of Shabbir was also seized.

“A hotline communication has been made to Pakistan Army asking them to take back the body of the killed individual,” an army statement said.

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