4 BSF Personnel Killed in Unprovoked Firing by Pak in J&K’s Samba
Pakistan Rangers initiated cross-border firing along the IB in Ramgarh sector from Tuesday night.
Four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, including an officer, were killed and three others injured in unprovoked firing by Pakistan Rangers along the International Border (IB) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, a senior BSF officer said on Wednesday, 13 June.
"Pakistan Rangers initiated cross-border firing along the IB in Ramgarh sector last night. We have lost four of our personnel, including an assistant commandant rank officer, while other three of our personnel suffered injuries," Inspector General, BSF (Jammu Frontier), Ram Awtar told PTI.
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 gave his condolences to the families of the martyred BSF personnel.
"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.
Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta told ANI that the army is always ready to retaliate against any attacks.
“From time to time, these kinds of attacks are done by Pakistan and it's definitely a matter of concern. However, our army is always ready to retaliate such attacks. I express my condolences on the death of four soldiers in Samba's Chambliyal sector,” said Gupta.
The firing from across the border in Chamliyal post area began around 10.30 pm on Tuesday, 12 June, and continued till 4.30 am the next day, a police official told PTI, requesting anonymity.
He said it was not immediately clear whether the BSF personnel were killed on Tuesday night or in the wee hours of Wednesday.
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 the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) of the two countries agreeing, on 29 May, to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in "letter and spirit" and a sector commander-level (BSF DIG-Rangers Brigadier) meeting on 4 June to ensure peace by "holding fire" along the IB.
The four BSF jawans who were martyred are Assistant Commandant Jitender Singh, Sub-Inspector Rajneesh Kumar, Assistant Sub-Inspector Ramniwas and Constable Hansraj Gurjar.
Singh, who hailed from Jaipur, joined the BSF in 2011. Kumar from Etah joined the force in 2012.
Ramniwas joined the BSF in 1988 and hailed from Sikar, Rajasthan. Constable Gurjar from Alwar joined the force in 2011.
Three other jawans who were severely injured were being treated at a medical facility.
The wreath laying ceremony of all four martyrs was held in Jammu on Wednesday.
India-Pak Play Blame Game
Soon after reports of unprovoked firing came to light, Pakistan summoned India's Acting Deputy High Commissioner alleging ceasefire violation by India along the Line of Control.
Meanwhile, following the wreath laying ceremony, Kamal Nath Choubey, ADG, BSF, Jammu Frontier, addressed the media said Pakistan had violated the ceasefire. “Ceasefire is always a bilateral decision, we have always maintained the sanctity of the ceasefire but Pakistan has violated it,” said Choubey.
“We are always prepared, ceasefire or no ceasefire there is no let up in border surveillance. Every instrument required to protect the territorial integrity of the border is maintained,” he told media persons.
Killing Spree Continues
On 3 June, 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 in ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) this year to 50, including 24 security personnel.
On 29 May, the DGMOs of India and Pakistan agreed to "fully implement" the ceasefire 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 from Pakistan between 15 May and 23 May which left 12 people dead, including two BSF jawans 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 4 June, the border-guarding forces of India and Pakistan met at the Octroi post in Jammu and Kashmir and held a 15-minute meeting during which both sides decided to "develop confidence" between them.
The Pakistani side assured that they would not initiate any cross-border firing and the BSF reciprocated by saying that it would only retaliate when provoked.
(With inputs from PTI)
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