We’re peace-loving country but reserve right to hit back: BSF

BSF’s director general KK Sharma said India is a peace loving country and does not want to create a war-like situation.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2018 20:52 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Kashmir border firing,Pakistan firing,LoC firing
A villager shows a mortar shell allegedly fired on a residential area from the Pakistan side at the India-Pakistan international border at Pindi Camp in Arnia Sector about 40km from Jammu on Thursday. (PTI)

The BSF’s director general KK Sharma said on Thursday the situation along the Line of Control and international border was “tense” but the paramilitary force was “more than prepared” to deal with it, amid increasing incidents of violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement by Pakistan in the recent months.

“We don’t initiate first fire but if provoked, we strongly retaliate. I assure you that this time also strong action is being taken. The martyrdom of head constable A Suresh won’t go waste,” Sharma said during a press conference.

The director general was referring to the death of the Border Security Force soldier by Pakistani fire in Jammu and Kashmir’s RS Pora sector on Wednesday night.

Sharma said that India is a peace loving country and does not want to create a war-like situation.

“We are more than prepared to foil infiltration attempts and respond to ceasefire violations,” he added.

The top official said the BSF inflicted heavy damages of life and property on Pakistan in its retaliatory fire after the latest round of skirmishes on the international border in Arnia sub-sector. He said that the force also damaged two Pakistani posts opposite Arnia, the epicentre of heavy exchange of fire.

“I can’t give an exact number but if you monitor Pakistani media you will get it. It was not for the first time that Pakistan opened unprovoked fire at us. On January 3, they shot sniper round in which we lost a jawan. At that time also BSF had strongly retaliated and had inflicted heavy damages,” he said.

Pakistan Rangers have been targeting villages along the international border in Arnia and RS Pura areas of Jammu district since Wednesday night.

Sharma said that the latest incident was not that of a sniper fire.

“The head constable was behind his LMG and was retaliating to Pakistani fire from a loophole of one foot by one-foot square. Enemies target that. A bullet entered from the loophole and hit him. It was very unfortunate,” he said.

Sharma said that the BSF has ensured minimum exposure by making some arrangements including bulletproof jackets, helmets and some other measures.

“But still some parts of the body like lower abdomen remain vulnerable to sniping and in such war-like situation, these are occupational hazards,” he said.

Sharma said that the BSF observes the movement of terrorists on the other side of the international border from time to time.

“The place where the latest skirmishes took place has a nullah (rivulet) nearby. So, possibilities of an intrusion bid in the wake of January 26 cannot be ruled out but our jawans are alert and we have also sufficient surveillance equipment in place. We will ensure that no infiltration takes place,” he added.

The DG said that he has asked officers on the ground to retaliate with full force and teach Pakistan a lesson.

Pakistan’s military accused Indian troops of initiating fire from across the border and targeting villages along Kashmir, killing two civilians and wounding five others in the latest “unprovoked” ceasefire violation. Pakistan’s foreign ministry later said the dead were women.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry on Thursday summoned an Indian diplomat and lodged a protest over the latest alleged cease-fire violation. In a statement, spokesman Mohammad Faisal said the violations have continued despite calls for restraint.

India quickly rejected the claim, saying, in fact, Pakistan initiated the fire, killing a 17-year-old girl and the soldier in Arnia.

The latest ceasefire violation by Pakistan came two days after the Indian Army killed seven Pakistani soldiers in Kotli’s Janglote area opposite the Mendhar sector. The dead Pakistani soldiers included a major as well. (With agency inputs.)

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 16:42 IST