Four BSF personnel killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in J-K’s Samba district
This is the second major ceasefire violation along the International Border this month and comes despite the May 29th agreement between the Director General Military Operations of the two countries to implement the 2003 ceasefire pact.india Updated: Jun 13, 2018 15:36 IST
Three officers were among four Border Security Force (BSF) men killed and three others were severely injured in firing by Pakistan Rangers along the international border in another ceasefire violation near the famous Chamliyal shrine in Ramgarh sub sector of Samba district late Tuesday night.
The BSF said Pakistan has betrayed India by not honouring its commitment made at the recent DGMOs level talk which was followed by a sector commander level flag meeting earlier this month.
“Since the ceasefire was on, that is the time we use to strengthen our defences and the team was going with the defence material. Pakistan violated the ceasefire and fired at them with flat trajectory weapons followed by mortar fire. That is how the casualties happened,” said BSF Additional Director General (ADG) Kamal Nayan Choubey at the force’s headquarters here after a wreath laying ceremony for the four men.
The fallen BSF men – three of whom were from Rajasthan - were identified as Assistant Commandant Jitendra Singh, Sub Inspector Rajneesh Kumar, Assistant Sub Inspector Ramniwas and Constable Hansraj. Jitendra Singh hailed from Jaipur, Hansraj Gurjar was from Alwar and Ramniwas from Sikar while Rajneesh Kumar was from Etah in Uttar Pradesh.
The injured have been evacuated to a hospital.
The ADG said that it was very unfortunate that Pakistan has again violated the truce deal.
“It is very unfortunate. The ceasefire announcements were made, the decisions were taken. Our decisions are meant to be on and we have honoured them. Pakistan has not and what Pakistan does is its business. How we respond to the betrayal is our job,” he said.
Earlier in the day, BSF Jammu frontier inspector general Ram Awtar said, “It was not a Border Action Team (BAT) attack but cross-border firing. It happened around 9.45 pm on Tuesday night. We have retaliated and other action is in the pipeline. Four BSF men have made supreme sacrifices in the line of duty.”
BSF officials said that Pak Rangers first attacked a patrol party with cross border firing in which a few BSF men were injured and when a rescue team was sent to evacuate them Pakistan fired mortars in a lethal attack on the rescuers.
Every year on the last Thursday of June, a three-day long fair is held at the shrine of Baba Dalip Singh Manhas, also called Baba Chamliyal on either side of the border.
Pakistan Rangers usually offer a chaddar and sweets on behalf of the people of Pakistan and BSF in turn gives them ‘shakkar’ (holy soil) and sherbet from the shrine, which many believe, cures skin related ailments.
All the men who were killed on Tuesday in the Pakistani shelling belonged to 62 battalion of the BSF that manned the shrine.
The latest Pakistani attack comes barely a week after a sector commander level flag meeting at Octroi post in RS Pura sector of Jammu district where Brigadier Amjad Hussain of Chenab Rangers had promised to uphold the sanctity of November 2003 Indo-Pak ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit.
Prior to it, the DGMO of Pakistan called up his Indian counterpart to stop retaliatory firing by the BSF and restore peace in the volatile border.
With the death of the four BSF men, Pakistan Rangers have killed 19 people and injured 67 others besides displacing over a lakh people from the border areas of Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts since May 15. Fifty two people including 26 security personnel have been killed on the LoC and international border in Jammu region this year so far.
“A rogue country like Pakistan will never mend its ways. We have to remain alert 24x7 on the borders,” said a BSF official.