BSF loses 4 per­son­nel in Pak fir­ing; its high­est ca­su­al­ties in years

We’ve main­tained sanc­tity of cease­fire pact, but Pak fir­ing a be­trayal: BSF ADG

Financial Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - PRESS TRUST OF IN­DIA

FOUR Border Se­cu­rity Force (BSF) per­son­nel, in­clud­ing an as­sis­tant com­mand an trank of­fi­cer, were killed and three oth­ers in­jured in fir­ing by Pak­istan Rangers along the In­ter­na­tional Border in Samba district of Jammu and Kash­mir (J&K) in “be­trayal” of a truce an­nounced re­cently.

Eleven BSF troops have been killed in cross-border fir­ing in­ci­dents along the In­ter­na­tional Border (IB) in J&K till date in 2018, the high­est ca­su­alty fig­ure for the border force in a year in the past five years, the lat­est data re­vealed.

The “un­pro­voked” fir­ing in Ram­garh sec­tor, which be­gan on Tues­day night, came days af­ter the two border guard­ing forces, at a sec­tor com­man­der-level meet­ing on June 4, agreed to main­tain peace and tran­quil­lity along the IB.

“Since the cease­fire was on... the time we use to strengthen our de­fences... A team was go­ing with de­fence ma­te­rial, when Pak­istan vi­o­lated the cease­fire and fired at them with flat tra­jec­tory weapon fol­lowed by mor­tar fir­ing,” Ad­di­tional Direc­tor Gen­eral (ADG) of BSF Western Com­mand, KN Chaubey said. An­other team of the BSF led by As­sis­tant com­man­dant Ji­ten­der Singh rushed to evac­u­ate them and a mor­tar fired from Pak­istan’s As­raf Post ex­ploded close to them in Border Our Post (BoP) Cham­biliyal, re­sult­ing in fa­tal causal­i­ties.

The BSF ADG said that it was very un­for­tu­nate as the cease­fire an­nounce­ment made and agreed is to be hon­oured. “We have hon­oured it and Pak­istan has not hon­oured it. And what Pak­istan does is Pak­istan’s busi­ness and how we re­spond to be­trayal is our job.”

Asked whether the BSF will lodge a protest with Pak- is­tan, he said, “Of course, it would.” He as­serted that it was pre­ma­ture to say about any in­volve­ment of Pak­istan spe­cial force BAT in it.

The fir­ing from across the border in Cham­liyal post area of Ram­garh sec­tor started around 10.30 pm yes­ter­day and con­tin­ued till 4.30 am. BSF troops also fired in re­tal­i­a­tion.

Cu­ri­ously how­ever, Pak­istan on Wed­nes­day sum­moned In­dia’s Act­ing Deputy High Com­mis­sioner and con­demned the al­leged “un­pro­voked cease­fire vi­o­la­tions” by In­dian troops across the Line of Con­trol which re­sulted in the death of a civil­ian.

J&K Direc­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice ( DGP) SP Vaid ex­pressed con­do­lences in a tweet, “In Ram­garh Jammu sec­tor of IB, 4 BSF per­son­nel were mar­tyred in­clud­ing one Asstt Com­man­dant & 5 in­jured due to fir­ing from across. Our heart goes to those who lost their dear ones.”

In a state­ment, the BSF said, “Around 2140 hours Pak Rangers Post As­raf started un­pro­voked fir­ing on BOP Cham­liyal with flat and high tra­jec­tory weapons. Re­tal­i­at­ing this un­pro­voked fire, Ji­ten­der Singh, As­sis­tant Com­man­dant, SI Ra­jneesh, ASI Ram­ni­was, Con­sta­ble Han­sraj at­tained mar­tyr­dom. Three other bor­der­men re­ceived se­vere in­juries. In­jured BSF per­son­nel have been evac­u­ated to hospi­tal.”

As­sis­tant Com­man­dant BSF Ji­ten­dra Singh from Jaipur (Ra­jasthan) is sur­vived by his wife and a 3-year-old son and his fam­ily had left him on Tues­day af­ter stay­ing with him for some time. Sub Inspector Ra­jneesh Ku­mar hails from Etah in UP. While both As­sis­tant Sub Inspector Ram­ni­was, and Con­sta­ble Han­sraj Gur­jar hail from Sikar and Al­war in Ra­jasthan.

This is the sec­ond ma­jor cease­fire vi­o­la­tion along the IB this month and came de­spite Direc­tor Gen­eral Mil­i­tary Oper­a­tions (DGMO) of the two coun­tries agree­ing on May 29 to im­ple­ment the cease­fire pact of 2003 in “let­ter and spirit”.

On June 3, two BSF per­son­nel, in­clud­ing an As­sis­tant Sub-Inspector, were killed and 10 per­sons, mostly civil­ians, in­jured in heavy shelling and fir­ing by Pak­istan Rangers along the IB in Prag­wal, Kanachak and Khour sec­tors.

The lat­est ca­su­al­ties take the num­ber of those killed

Cross­ing all lim­its of cow­ardice, Pak­istan in­dulged in cross-border fir­ing in the mid­dle of night in which 4 of our jawans were killed and 3 oth­ers in­jured. But our coun­try’s lead­er­ship is adopt­ing an un­cer­tain Pak pol­icy. Till when will this con­tinue? Ran­deep Sur­je­w­ala, Congress leader Sus­pen­sion of oper­a­tions in the state has given the peo­ple a sigh of re­lief and I hope the same is ex­tended to the bor­ders and an at­mos­phere of peace re­turns to these ar­eas. Me­hbooba Mufti, J&K chief min­is­ter Time has come to make the cost of mil­i­tary en­gage­ment of any kind with In­dia un­af­ford­able for Pak­istan and for that a lim­ited war, which sev­eral mil­i­tary strate­gists have rec­om­mended, should be se­ri­ously con­sid­ered and that too at the ear­li­est. Choud­hary Lal Singh, BJP leader Pak­istan’s re­peated treach­er­ous acts dur­ing Ramzan prove that it’s tak­ing ad­van­tage of the lack of our clear Pak pol­icy. GA Mir, Cong J&K pres­i­dent

in cease­fire vi­o­la­tion by Pak­istan along the IB and the Line of Con­trol (LoC) this year to 51, in­clud­ing 25 se­cu­rity per­son­nel.

Last month, thou­sands of peo­ple re­sid­ing along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba dis­tricts had to flee their homes fol­low­ing in­tense shelling from Pak­istan be­tween May 15 and May 23 which left 12 peo­ple dead, in­clud­ing two BSF jawans and an in­fant, and scores of oth­ers in­jured.

BSF of­fi­cers carry the coffins of their col­leagues at the wreath-lay­ing cer­e­mony at the BSF head­quar­ters in Jammu

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