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BSF officer killed in Pakistani sniper attack along International Border in J-K’s Kathua

According to the BSF, the officer, Vinay Prasad, was from Chapra in Bihar and is survived by his wife and five-month-old daughter

india Updated: Jan 15, 2019 23:18 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers standing guard during a night patrol near the fence at the India-Pakistan International Border at the outpost of Akhnoor sector, about 40 km from Jammu.
Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers standing guard during a night patrol near the fence at the India-Pakistan International Border at the outpost of Akhnoor sector, about 40 km from Jammu.(HT File Photo/Representative image)
         

A Pakistani sniper shot and killed a Border Security Force (BSF) officer patrolling the border in Jammu’s Kathua district on Tuesday, the fourth deadly attack carried out by the neighbour in less than a week.

Tuesday’s attack was along the formal border between the two countries, which makes it a violation of international conventions, while Friday’s – when an army major, a soldier and a porter were killed – took place along the Line of Control.

“On Tuesday at about 1050hrs (10.50 am), BSF troops while carrying out border domination were fired upon by Pakistan snipers resulting in grievous injuries to assistant commandant Vinay Prasad. The injured officer was evacuated to Military Hospital at Satwari in Jammu where he succumbed to his injuries and attained martyrdom,” said a BSF spokeserson.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Vijaypur in the border district of Samba, adjoining Kathua, on February 3 to kick-start his party’s campaign for the state and general elections expected later this year.

According to BSF, officer Prasad was 35 years old and he came from Chapra, Bihar. He is survived by his wife and a five-month-old daughter, Vaanya. “We retaliated soon after the incident. We have also lodged a strong protest with the Pak Rangers,” said Inspector general of the BSF Jammu Frontier, NS Jamwal.

An intelligence official based in Jammu, asking not to be named, said the sniper fire took place near Pansar border outpost in Hiranagar sector where undulating terrain and thick growth of Sarkanda plant cover provide sufficient cover for Pakistani gunmen.

Pakistani forces also opened heavy fire on Indian posts and forward villages in the Sunderbani sector, in Rajouri district.

At 2,936, the year 2018 recorded the highest number of ceasefire violations by Pakistan troops in the past 15 years along the Indo-Pakistan border.

The attacks come even as the Pakistani establishment signalled it was open to peace talks, though people in the Indian defence establishment – army chief Bipin Rawat being the most recent – have seen such attempts as being hollow.

On January 8, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in an interview to Turkish news agency TRT World, accused India of not responding to his peace overtures and said that any war between two nuclear-armed nations would be suicidal for both.

Last week, army chief Rawat said there has been little change in the Pakistani military’s approach. “Pakistan has been making a lot of noise about better relations with India but on the ground we do not see any difference,” he said.

On Tuesday, referring to the action taken in the wake of firing by Pakistani troops, the Army chief said: “We have been giving befitting reply to the enemies on the Line of Control (LoC) that has led to heavy loss of lives and logistics.”

First Published: Jan 15, 2019 21:52 IST

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