The Indian Defence Minister, Mr Jagjivan Ram, has warned that war might be thrust upon India as a result of the East Pakistan crisis.
The Indian Defence Minister, Mr Jagjivan Ram, has warned that war might be thrust upon India as a result of the East Pakistan crisis. Speaking on Sunday (June 20), he called upon the Army to be prepared to meet any eventuality, and he charged Pakistan with violating India's eastern borders.
There have been reports that shells fired by Pakistan Army units have landed on the Indian side of the border at several points, prompting families too leave their homes. But at the village of Dwarkanda, in the Parganas district of West Bengal, the villagers are staying where they are, and have begun building bunkers and trenches as protection from any further incidents. Here, the border is just across the Sonai River, and men of the Indian Border Security Force are positioned in the village to watch for movement from the East Pakistan side.
Following the Defence Minister's remarks, the Press Trust of India reported that two Pakistan mortar shells has landed on the border settlement of Sahebganj, although no casualties were caused.
SYNOPSIS: Reports that the Pakistan Army have subjected settlements on the Indian side of the East Pakistan border to shelling and small-arms fire are increasing as tension between the two countries grows. And in some areas, Indian villagers are building bunkers in anticipation of further incidents.
In the village of Dwarkanda, right on the border, women and children are carrying out practice drills with bunkers already built. The Indian Defence Minister, Mr Jagjivan Ram, on Sunday said that there was a possibility of war being thrust upon India if Pakistan's border violation incidents increased, and he called upon the Army to prepare itself for what he termed "any eventuality".
One shell has already landed in the fields surrounding this village. No casualties were caused. But, with the border only a matter of yards away across the Sonai River, the villagers are taking no changes against any more shells landing in the area. The are digging trenches and building more bunkers. This week, the situation was deteriorating, as the Pakistan Government on Tuesday claimed that India was also violating the border areas. An official statement reported incidents of Indian troops opening fire across the border, and said that a Pakistan patrol had crossed into East Pakistan.
Men of the Indian Border Security Force are watching for any movement from the army in East Pakistan. Bangla Desh fighters are reported to be operating crom bases inside the India. But the Indians have confiscated large quantities of their weapons, in an effort to prevent them inflaming an area where both Pakistan and Indian troops are deployed in strength.