Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said that the Indian Army has been giving a befitting response to the Pakistani ceasefire violations

Lt General Ranbir Singh said 2018 was a great year for the security forces as more than 250 terrorists had been killed, 54 were caught alive and another 4 had surrendered to them

The Northern Army commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh on Thursday said the Indian Army was one step ahead of Pakistan and was giving a befitting reply to every single ceasefire violation by the neighbouring country.

Talking to media after inaugurating a bridge at Kalai in Poonch district, General Singh said, “We are one step ahead of Pakistan and are giving befitting reply to them.”

“2018 has been a great year for the security forces, more than 250 terrorists were killed, 54 were caught alive, and 4 surrendered to the forces,” he said.

When asked about the increased ceasefire violation by Pakistani forces since January 1 this year and the elimination of five Pakistani soldiers by Indian forces in retaliation in the last few days, Gen Singh said the answer lies in the query itself.

A top BSF source said at least five Pakistani army personnel were killed and three others injured in heavy retaliatory firing by Indian troops across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch sector in the past 48 hours.

On Thursday, Pakistani army again resorted to heavy firing in Jhangar, Laam, Pukherni and Peer Bhadreshwar areas of Rajouri district, prompting the Indian Army to retaliate in equal measure.

On Tuesday, Pakistan killed BSF’s assistant commandant in sniper firing on the international border in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district on Tuesday.

On Friday, an army officer, soldier and a porter were killed in Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors of Rajouri district.

Notably, PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the border district of Samba on February 3 to kick-start the BJP’s election campaign in the state.

Despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the 2003 ceasefire agreement to maintain peace and tranquility, Pakistani troops have been indulging in ceasefire violations including BAT attacks, sniper attacks and planting IEDs inside Indian territory to kill Indian personnel.

Kalai bridge inaugurated

Meanwhile, General Ranbir Singh dedicated the Kalai Bridge to the country on Thursday. The bridge spans over the Suran River and connects Kalai area to Chandak area in Poonch district.

During the inauguration function, the Army Commander addressed the gathering of Army, GREF and local residents and said the Kalai bridge is an important milestone towards enhancing the road communication and for Socio-Economic development of the area.

The bridge is an important strategic asset as it will enhance the movement of military equipment and troops in a faster time frame. The Indian Army and BRO has been working towards infrastructure development in the remote and far-flung areas of the state and have been improving road connectivity.

The bridge will reduce traffic congestion in the city and reduce the inconvenience caused to the people specially while moving towards Budha Amarnath Shrine in Mandi as it reduces the travelling time considerably.