People living in villages along the Line of Control (LoC), in the Tangdhar sector, are gripped in fear and panic after the heavy shelling of July 30. Locals claim that it was a war-like situation and they had not seen this kind of escalation and heavy artillery firing for over a decade.
As the Indian Army retaliated, inputs and intercepts suggested that Pakistani military establishments were hit and nearly 20 Pakistani army regulars were killed.
Since then, the situation has calmed down along the LoC with no skirmishes reported, but infiltration attempts continue. Since the removal of Article 370, there have been no ceasefire violations but terrorist infiltration attempts continue.
A small mosque in village Sadpora was damaged, some houses were hit and a woman was injured, locals say.
“When the shelling started kids were in school and we didn’t know what to do,” said Raja Nasir Ahmed recalling the horror.
Locals say a bus driver Arshad Ahmed Khan suffered a heart attack and died while he was driving when the shelling started. Khan is survived by his wife and three children.
“Usually there are 40-50 people during namaz in the mosque. Luckily, nobody was there that day otherwise many would have died,” said Khalil-Ur-Rehman, the local sarpanch.
This small mosque is metres away from the LoC in Tanghdhar. It was severely damaged in the heavy shelling by the Pakistan army on July 30.
It wasn’t just here that Pakistan resorted to artillery fire. There were ceasefire violations in Keran, Gurez, and Macchil, but that fizzled out as there was early detection.
Sources say a massive infiltration attempt to push in terrorists was the real reason behind Pakistan escalating matters at the LoC. The terror camps that were silent after the Balakot air strikes are also active now.
While attempts made by the Border Action Teams known as BAT in military parlance were foiled, sources said amid the escalation, a group of 4-5 Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists infiltrated successfully.
In one such BAT action in Keran, four infiltrators were killed by the Indian Army and their bodies were found on the Indian side of LoC. The bodies still lie there with Pakistan not claiming them.