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Ceasefire violation in Samba
3 officers, among 4 BSF personnel, killed; 3 injured in Pak firing
KT NEWS SERVICE
JAMMU, Jun 13: Three officers, including an Assistant Commandant rank officer, were among four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel killed and three others injured in unprovoked firing by Pakistan Rangers violating ceasefire near famous Baba Chamliyal shrine along the International Border (IB) in Ramgarh sector in Samba district of Jammu Tuesday night.

The firing from across the border in Chamliyal post area of Ramgarh sector, which had started around 9.30 PM on Tuesday, continued till 4.30 AM.

According to BSF officials, Assistant Commandant Jitendra Singh (34), Sub-inspector Rajneesh Kumar (32), Constable Hansraj Gurjar (28) and Assistant SI Ram Niwas (52) were killed when unprovoked firing, using both precision weapons and mortars, was launched from the Asraf post of the Pakistan Rangers.

Officials said while ASI Ram Niwas, manning the observation post, was hit first in the precision fire from across the border, the rest three were killed in the subsequent mortar firing, as they were trying to evacuate the ASI.

“Amidst ongoing fire during evacuation a mortar shell fired from Pakistan side exploded and injured the evacuation party,” officials said. The injured were evacuated to the hospital.

Among the brave-hearts, three hailed from Rajasthan while one hailed from Uttar Pradesh, officials added. While Singh hailed from Jaipur in Rajasthan, Rajneesh Kumar was from Etah in Uttar Pradesh, Ram Niwas hailed from Sikar and Hansarj Gurjar from Alwar in Rajasthan. They all belonged to 62 battalion of the BSF that manned the shrine. Every year in 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, wherein Pak Rangers also participate and offer Chaddar.

“During unprovoked cross border firing by Pakistan last night, 4 brave border-men laid life while defending the sanctity of the country and made supreme sacrifice in the service to the nation. Late Jitender Singh, Assistant Commandant, SI Rajneesh, ASI Ramniwas, Constable Hansraj sustained fatal bullets and shell injuries during cross border firing from Pakistan on June 12, 2018. Other than the martyrs, three more Border-men also suffered injuries during same cross border firing,” read BSF’s official statement.

“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 this morning.

“Pakistan Rangers initiated cross border firing violating ceasefire along IB in Ramgarh sector last night. We lost four of our personnel, including an assistant commandant rank officer, while other three of our personnel suffered injuries,” IG, BSF (Jammu Frontier) Ram Awtar stated while briefing the media about the second major incident of ceasefire violation after DGMO level talks between India and Pak on May 29.

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 also expressed his condolence over the incident. “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.

In the wreath laying ceremony organized at Frontier Headquarter BSF camp Paloura Jammu, Bali Bhagat former Health Minister, Chander Prakash former minister Industry & Commerce, Gagan Bhagat, MLA R S Pura, SP Vaid, DGP JKP, Dr S D SINGH IG JKP, Hemant Kumar Sharma, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, K N Choubey, Additional Director General (WC) BSF, Ram Awtar IG BSF Jammu, BSF officers and men along with other senior officers of the central and state government paid floral tribute to the brave-hearts.

On this occasion Choubey said, “BSF has the history of bravery and border-man always stood force if it comes to the nation’s security. BSF is the most professional force to protect the sovereignty of the national boundary and people of nation can sleep fearlessly while border men are on duty. The nation will remain indebted to brave border-men for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty and shall be remembered forever whenever the martyr will be remembered.”

Choubey reiterated, “As a peaceful country we never initiated fire from our side but keep all our options open.”

Cremation of the brave-hearts will be done at their respective hometowns.

This is the second major ceasefire violation along the IB this month and came despite Director General Military Operations (DGMO) of the two countries agreeing, on May 29, to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in "letter and spirit" and a sector commander-level (BSF DIG-Rangers Brigadier) meeting here on June 4 to ensure peace by "holding fire" along the IB.

On June 3, 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.

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 May 15 and May 23 which left 12 people dead, including two BSF jawans and an infant, and scores of others injured.

On June 4, the border-guarding forces of India and Pakistan met at the Octroi post here 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.


News Updated at : Thursday, June 14, 2018
 
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