Officer among 4 BSF personnel killed in fresh India-Pak firing
Jammu, Jun 13: Four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, including an officer, were killed and three others injured as the armies of India and Pakistan traded heavy fire along the International Border (IB) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Pakistan Rangers initiated cross border firing along IB in Ramgarh sector last night. We have lost four of our personnel, including an assistant commandant rank officer, while other 3 of our personnel suffered injuries,” IG, BSF (Jammu Frontier) Ram Awtar was quoted by news agency Press Trust of India.
The deceased have been identified as Assistant Commandant Jatinder Singh, Sub Inspector Rajesh Kumar, ASI Ram Niwas and Constable Hans Raj.
He said Pakistan Rangers and the BSF had recently agreed to ensure ceasefire along the IB but the former violated it by initiating cross-border firing.
In a tweet, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid expressed his condolence over the incident.
“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,” he said.
The firing in Chamliyal post area of Ramgarh sector started around 10.30 pm on Tuesday and continued till 4.30 am, a police official said, requesting anonymity.
He said it was not immediately clear whether the BSF personnel were killed last night or in the wee hours today.
The BSF troops also fired in retaliation, the official said.
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” and asector commander-level (BSF DIG-Rangers Brigadier) meeting here on June 4 to ensure peace by “holding fire” along the IB.
On June 3, two BSF personnel, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector, were killed and 10 persons, mostly civilians, injured in heavy shelling and firing along the IB in Pragwal, Kanachak and Khour sectors.
The latest casualties take the number of those killed in ceasefire violation along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) this year to 50, including 24 security personnel.
On May 29, the DGMOs of India and Pakistan agreed to “fully implement” theceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit” forthwith to stop border skirmishes in J&K.
Last month, thousands of people residing along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts had to flee their homes following intense shelling between May 15 and May 23 which left 12 people dead, including two BSF troopers and an infant, and scores of others injured.
After the DGMOs of the two countries spoke to each other, hope rekindled among border residents who had started returning to their homes but the latest incident triggered fresh concerns among them.
On June 4, the border-guarding forces of India and Pakistan met at the Octroi post here and held a 15-minute meeting during which both sides decided to “develop confidence” between them.