27 ceasefire violations between Nov 16 and 21, India tells Pakistan

New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) India on Thursday said it has conveyed to Pakistan its grave concerns at the continued attempts to infiltrate armed terrorists from across the Line of Control and noted that 27 ceasefire violations had taken place between November 16 and 21 using artillery and heavy mortar.

Giving details of the demarche issued to Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Hyder Shah on Wednesday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the government had reiterated its concerns about the safety of Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan who inadvertently crossed over the Line of Control over seven weeks back.

He said the demarche, fourth in the month, was issued on the continued violation of ceasefire from the other side of the Line of Control.

“The Government of India stated that despite calls for restraint, Pakistan forces committed 27 ceasefire violations between November 16 and 21 by resorting to calibre escalation and employing artillery and 120 millimetre heavy mortars against Indian posts. These violent acts constitute a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement of 2003,” Swarup said.

He said the government conveyed that it strongly deplored “the tacit support of the Pakistan Army” to armed terrorists that came from close to Pakistan Army posts on November 22, targeting an Indian patrol near the Line of Control in Machhal Sector opposite Pakistan’s Kel Sector, and killing three Indian soldiers, including inhuman mutilation of the body of one of them.

The government also protested the deliberate targeting by the Pakistan Army of 18 villages along the Line of Control during the period November 16 and 21 which resulted in a non fatal casualty besides causing extensive damage to public and private property and the displacement of civilian population.

“The government conveyed its grave concerns at the continued attempts to infiltrate armed terrorists from across the Line of Control to target Indian posts and patrols. During the last week alone, there have been 15 instances when terrorists indulged in nefarious actions from the vicinity of Pakistani Army posts across the Line of Control,” Swarup said.

Referring to the sepoy who inadvertently crossed over the Line of Control, Swarup said India expected his early repatriation and safe return.

Wednesday’s summons to the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner came after similar steps by the External Affairs Ministry on November 2, 9 and 16.