Jammu, Oct 22: Intelligence reports that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed could be visiting areas along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir to facilitate cross-border infiltration, said union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Tuesday as Pakistan continued to fire at Indian posts.
Pakistan opened fire at Indian posts in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district and Jammu district on a day when the minister was visiting the International Border in the region.
Shinde also chaired a high-level security meeting here before returning to New Delhi.
Earlier talking to reporters in Samba town on the sidelines of a Border Security Force (BSF) Sainik Sammelan, Shinde said: “It is true that information suggests Hafiz Saeed could be visiting areas of LoC (Line of Control) to abet infiltration.”
He said India has always maintained that Kashmir is an integral part of the country.
“No third party thing can work. Anything that has to happen has to happen bilaterally,” he said.
The home minister said the matter has been taken up in flag meetings. “I have surveyed areas along the border today, even those from where infiltration took place recently.”
“Yes, there is more infiltration as compared to past times. But, the forces are ready to face any situation,” he asserted.
“We can’t be tougher by only saying so. We are taking action to that effect.”
On providing security to residents of border areas, the home minister said shelters have to be created by the state government for the civilians when they feel threatened and frightened.
Asked about the reasons for the recent spurt in firing by Pakistan on Indian posts, Shinde said: “We don’t know what has led to the spurt in ceasefire violations, but we are discussing the matter and will find out.”
He stressed that a cordial atmosphere was essential for talks between India and Pakistan.
Earlier, Shinde made an aerial survey of the International Border in Samba, Akhnoor, Ranbir Singh Pura (R.S.Pura) and Hira Nagar sectors.
He chaired a security meeting with top BSF field commanders at the Samba headquarters of the paramilitary force.
Accompanied by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and other senior officials, the home minister also visited the Hira Nagar police station where four policemen and two civilians were killed by three terrorists Sep 26 this year.
The terrorists had later stormed an army camp in Samba where they killed three soldiers and a Lt. colonel, before being gunned down by army commandos.
Returning to Jammu, Shinde and Abdullah co-chaired a meeting to review the prevailing security situation in the state.
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, union Home Secretary Anil Goswami, Secretary, RAW, Alok Joshi, Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, and Army’s northern command’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. H. J. S. Sachdeva.
Other participants included 16 Corps commander Lt.Gen. D.S. Hooda, 15 Corps commander Lt.Gen. Gurmit Singh, 14 Corps commander, Rakesh Sharma, BSF Director General Subhash Joshi, state police chief Ashok Prasad, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Dalip Trivedi, Intelligence Bureau Director S. A. Ibrahim and other senior civil, police and army officers.
Representatives of security gencies gave detailed account of the prevailing security scenario and general law and order situation in the state.
Matters relating to violation of ceasefire by Pakistan Rangers and the problems caused to civilians by the shelling were also discussed in detail.
On a day when Shinde was in the region, Pakistan again violated the ceasefire.
Pakistani forces opened fire on Indian posts in Poonch district Monday morning and on R.S. Pura sector of Jammu district in the evening. The attack with heavy weapons in the latter area came for the second day in succession.
Pakistani forces had carried out heavy shelling of Indian positions in R.S. Pura sector late Monday night too.