107 mm army-type rockets fired into India: BSF
Even as the Pak authorities today denied any rockets were fired from its side, senior BSF officials who inspected the spot where the rockets landed near the Attari-Wagah check post said the paramilitary forces were fully equipped to retaliate against any provocation.india Updated: Sep 12, 2009 13:15 IST
Even as the Pakistani authorities on Saturday denied that any rockets were fired from its side into Indian territory, paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) officials in Amritsar said they were fully equipped to retaliate against any provocation from the neighbouring country.
Senior BSF officials, who inspected the spot where the rockets that were fired, said three 107MM rockets were fired into India Friday night near the Attari-Wagah check post.
"The 107 MM rockets are used by armies all over the world. Some terrorist organisations also use them. In July also, the same rockets were fired in this area. We are investigating the matter," BSF's Punjab Frontier Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Jagir Singh told IANS.
"We had a meeting with officials of the Pakistan Rangers last (Friday) night. Though the Rangers have denied that rockets were fired from Pakistan side, we have given them time to investigate and react to the incident. They have said that they will investigate this. We will be meeting them (Rangers) again," Singh said.
BSF troopers fired from machine-guns into Pakistan after rockets were fired into Indian territory in Amritsar from across the border. The rockets landed in fields in the Pul Kanjari area near the Attari joint check post from across the border between both countries.
BSF officials said 7-8 machine-gun bursts were fired into Pakistan after the rockets landed on the Indian side.
Villages in the Pul Kanjari area, where the incident took place, were tense even though the BSF increased patrolling.
"We did retaliatory fire from machine-guns and have lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani side. Villagers heard three sounds," Singh said.
Residents of border villages near the Attari-Wagah check-post in Amritsar district informed BSF officials about rockets landing in fields, BSF Inspector General of Police for Punjab Frontier Himmat Singh said.
Commandants of the BSF and Pakistan Rangers held a meeting at the border in the wee hours of Saturday to investigate the incident. The Indian side lodged a strong protest over repeated incidents of shelling from across the border.
This is the second incident of rockets being fired into Indian territory from Pakistani soil. Three rockets were fired into Indian territory in early July.
India has erected an electrified barbed wire fencing on its side of the 553-km Indo-Pak border in Punjab.
The rockets were fired just hours after the BSF stationed the first batch of women troopers along the international border Friday.
"The women troops will do their duties normally. This incident will have no affect on their work. There is no move to withdraw them from the border," the DIG said.
As many as 118 women troopers were stationed at Border-Out Posts (BOPs) along the Punjab border Friday. Though the women troopers will be used for non-combat duties like frisking women and villagers doing farming across the fence in Indian territory, they are trained for patrolling and using weapons.