Chandigarh/Jammu: India's Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday visited the forward posts around Dera Baba Nanak area along the International Border (IB) with Pakistan in Amritsar district in northwestern Indian state of Punjab.
"The minister interacted with troops, as part of Army's motivation and welfare programme," a press release said.
Jaitley is on a day-long visit to Amritsar. He also motivated the troops and announced incentives for those deployed on the forward posts, the release said. Jaitley was accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag.
On arrival, the defence minister was received by Lt Gen K J Singh, Western Army Commander, Lt General N P Singh Hira, Vajra Corps Commander and Maj Gen PS Sandhu, 'Panther Division' commander.
Jaitley also visited Headquarters of 'Panther Division,' where he was given a "comprehensive briefing" on the overall dynamics of Western Sector, including operational preparedness, the release said.
Meanwhile, in a major ceasefire violation that lasted throughout the night, Pakistani troops resorted to heavy mortar shelling and fired with automatic weapons at 20 Border Out Posts and civilian areas along the International Border in Jammu sector, leaving a
Pakistan Rangers armed with heavy weaponry resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing of automatic weapons on 15 to 20 Border Out Posts (BoPs) in Arnia and RS Pura sub-sectors in Jammu district around 2130hours on Sunday night", a BSF officer said on Monday.
The BSF troops responded with equal caliber weapons to Pakistan's firing which resulted in intermittent exchanges of fire, which stopped around 0630 hours on Monday, the officer said. An elderly villager identified as Attar Singh of Treva hamlet was injured in the mortar shelling, he said.
There were reports that Pakistani Rangers also fired 82-mm mortars on BoPs and some civilian areas in Arnia and RS Pura.
Most of the borderline in RS Pura and Arnia was shelled by the Pakistani Rangers throughout the night, making it the biggest ceasefire violation this year.
The cross-border firing comes ahead of the August 25 Foreign Secretary talks between India and Pakistan.
This is the 11th ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops along LoC and IB in Jammu region during the past 10 days and the 12th in August this year.
On August 14, Pakistani troops had resorted to unprovoked small arms and automatic weapons firing on Indian posts along LoC in Hamirpur sector of Poonch district.
Besides this, there were two other violations of ceasefire in Balakote (Mendhar) and Hamirpur sectors in Poonch on August 14. On August 13, Pakistani troops had resorted to firing by small arms and automatic weapons on forward posts along LoC in Bhimbher Gali sector of Poonch district, in which one jawan was injured.
On August 12, Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy firing with mortar shells, small arms and automatic weapons on five BoPs and civilian areas along the IB in Arnia-R S Pura areas in Jammu district.
Two BSF jawans were among four persons injured on August 11 when Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing with small arms, automatic weapons and mortar shells on 10 border out posts and civilian areas along the International Border in Arnia and RS Pura belts of Jammu district.
On August 10, Pakistani troops had violated ceasefire by targeting Indian forward posts with small arms and automatic weapons along the Line of Control in Mendhar sector of Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting Indian forces to retaliate.
Meanwhile, a Pakistani media report said that at least three persons, including two Rangers, were injured in the alleged cross border firing.
"The Indians allegedly violated the border in Charwah and Haryal sector of Sialkot which resulted in the injuries," the Express Tribune claimed.