Will Take Strong Action Against Pak For Killing BSF Jawan: Rajnath
MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar called the incident “barbaric”.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has told the Border Security Force (BSF) to take “strongest possible action” against the Pakistani troops, who slit a BSF jawan's throat along the International Border near Jammu, officials said on Thursday, 20 September.
This was conveyed to the top brass of the border guarding force which is deployed along the highly volatile Indo-Pak border.
The home minister told top officials of the BSF in no uncertain terms that the strongest possible action should be taken against the Pakistani troops involved in Tuesday's incident, a home ministry official privy to the development told PTI.
Sources told PTI that the Pakistani side, which spoke to the Border Security Force officials over phone on Thursday, "denied any hand" in the killing of Head Constable Narender Singh.
The Indian side termed the act as "unsoldierly".
First Such Incident Along Intentional Border
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India will take up the issue with Pakistan in an "appropriate" manner.
“We are ascertaining the facts on this matter... I can say (it is) a barbaric incident which not only defies logic, not only defies civilised behaviour, but also is against all international norms.”Raveesh Kumar, as quoted by PTI
He said the BSF had strongly taken up the matter with their counterpart on the Pakistani side.
The brutal and "unprecedented" incident that took place in the Ramgarh sector on 18 September has prompted the security forces to issue a "high alert" across the IB and Line of Control (LoC) even as the Border Security Force has lodged a strong complaint with its counterparts – the Pakistan Rangers.
Official sources said the body of Head Constable Narender Kumar also bore three bullet wounds and it could only be retrieved from a spot ahead of the Indo-Pak fence after over six hours as the Pakistani side “did not respond” to the calls to maintain the sanctity of the frontier and ensure that the BSF search parties were not fired upon.
The Pakistan Rangers, the sources said, was asked to take part in a joint patrolling to trace the missing jawan, but they only came up to a certain point and cited waterlogging problems in the area that prevented them from undertaking a coordinated action.
The BSF then waited for the sun to set and launched a "risky operation" to bring the jawan's body back to the post by "late evening".
Jawan Killed On the Spot After Being Hit By A Sniper
They added that since the BSF patrol party that went ahead of the fence to cut the tall "sarkanda" (elephant) grass was first fired upon at 10:40 am on 18 September, hectic phone calls and communication exchanges went on from the Indian side to across the border in order to locate the jawan, who was first declared missing.
While the BSF did not comment on the developments, sources said the force had alerted all its formations along the IB and informed the Army to be vigilant at the LoC.
The body of the jawan bears three bullet injuries and his throat has been slit. This is an unprecedented action that has happened with the Indian forces along the IB and the Pakistani troopers are behind this. The BSF and other forces will undertake a counter-action at a suitable time.Official to PTI
The jawan was killed on the spot after he was hit by a fatal sniper shot from across the border, he added.
BSF Retaliated But Bullets Hit the Jawan
The BSF's Jammu frontier had issued a statement on the incident but did not mention anything about the slitting.
A BSF party that was on domination patrolling ahead of the fence was fired upon. The BSF troops immediately took position and retaliated but the enemy bullets hit a jawan. The area on the Pakistani side has a protective bundh close to the IB.BSF Statement
It had added that the area on the Indian side was undulated, marshy and had a thick "sarkanda" growth that made tracing the location of the felled jawan difficult.
The incident came a day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the maiden "smart fence" project of the BSF in Jammu on Monday that aims to deploy smart technology and gadgets to secure the vulnerable patches on the Indo-Pak border.
Where is ‘56-inch’ Chest, Asks Congress
The Congress on Thursday wondered where was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "56-inch" chest as it demanded strong action against Pakistan and to bring to book those behind the killing.
Party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the time has come to "show red eyes to Pakistan and display a strong demeanour and not just vaunt about a "56-inch chest".
“When will today’s leadership fulfil their responsibility towards the country? Where is that 56-inch chest and the red-eyes they once claimed that would show to Pakistan? Does Prime minister’s conscience not prick him?”
Twitter Condemns Jawan’s Brutal Killing
Following the news of the BSF Jawan being brutally murdered by the Pakistani troops, Twitter expressed grief, condemning his killing and demanding that the Indian government carry out justice for Narender Kumar.
Several Indian Army soldiers also took to Twitter, demanding justice for Kumar.
The official page of the J&K Congress party tweeted out a message, speaking about Kumar’s honour and sacrifice in laying down his life for the nation.
AICC Communications Incharge R Surjewala also met with members of Kumar’s family in Thana Kalan village, Sonepat.
(With inputs from PTI)
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