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Panic strikes border villages
2 rockets fired from Pak hit Indian territory
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Dandae (Attari), July 5
Panic gripped border villages situated near zero line after two rockets, appeared to have been launched by Pakistan-based Taliban from across the border, landed in the Indian territory last evening.

Residents of this border village had a miraculous escape as one of the two rockets fell in the irrigated paddy field. The other landed at Beharwal village, also near the border. Though no causalities have been reported, except for villager Dilbag Singh who sustained minor injuries from rocket splinters, the BSF has lodged a formal protest with its Pakistani counterpart.

Meanwhile, a third rocket fell on the Pakistan side near historic Pul Kanjri. The incident occurred on Saturday at about 10 pm. Villagers, who were sleeping on rooftops, started crying when they saw a ball of fire coming from the Pakistani side with deafening sound.

This is for the first time after the Indo-Pak war of 1971 that an Indian village has been bombed from the Pakistani soil. The Army and the BSF had cordoned off the area and rocket splinters were collected for testing.

The incident has posed a grave danger to hundreds of visitors who visit the Attari check-post every evening to witness the Retreat ceremony since the BSF has no system to intercept rockets.

The bombing of Indian villages came after a few hours of the killing of a Pakistani youth by the BSF near Roranwali village (Attari) yesterday. The youth, believed to be a Pakistan-based Taliban, was coming from the Pakistani side.

“The man, who was running towards the Indian side, was asked to stop, but he did not pay heed to our warnings and our troops opened fire,” a BSF officer said. The Pakistani authorities, however, refused to admit that the killed youth was from their country.

After a Commandant-level meeting with the Pakistani authorities, BSF Inspector-General Himmat Singh said they were not ruling out the possibility of a rocket attack by the Pakistan-based terrorist outfits. Major-Gen Balbir Singh Pahma, DIG, BSF, Mohammad Akil and Commandant HS Dhillon were also present there.

Dilbagh Singh, who received minor injuries from rocket splinters, said he saw a ball of flame falling in nearby paddy field. The second rocket fell near the farm house of Tejpal Singh. He informed the Lopoke police that took possession of the rocket shell in the morning without any proper investigation. He said at one point it appeared as if Pakistan had attacked India.

Certain villagers claimed that they saw two projectiles with sparks coming from Pakistani side and landing in the fields. Had they fallen on village dwellings, many human lives would have been lost.

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