BSF jawan killed in Pak shelling along IB in Samba

BSF jawan killed in Pak shelling along IB in Samba

Pakistan today resumed heavy mortar shelling targeting scores of Border Out Posts (BoPs) and civilian areas along International Border (IB) in Samba and Kathua districts, killing a BSF jawan.

"Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy mortar shelling on BoPs and civilian areas along IB in Samba and Kathua sectors around 2 PM today," a senior BSF officer told PTI, as the fresh ceasefire violation by Pakistan triggered another round of heavy exchanges.
One BSF jawan was martyred in the shelling, he said, adding the force is also strongly retaliating back.

The deceased has been identified as Constable Davinder Kumar who was at Khora BoP post in Samba sector, a Police officer said.

Four jawans and a woman were killed in Pakistan shelling and firing during the last one week, officials said, adding, five Pakistani rangers and a girl were killed in retaliatory firing.

Kathua Deputy commissioner Kathua Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary said Pakistan has started shelling in all the border villages and that more than 5,000 people living in 57 villages on the Indian side are in danger.

"We are unable to launch rescue operations," he added. Earlier in the day it was small arms fire, now they are using heavy mortar shells, he said.

Chowdhary said the situation is very serious and that Pakistani shells have landed 3 to 4 km inside Indian territory.

After a day-long lull, Pakistani Rangers violated ceasefire again by targeting the border posts in Kathua and Samba sectors, drawing retaliation from BSF.

"Pakistani Rangers resorted to ceasefire violation and opened small arms firing in one post in Samba district and two areas in Kathua district late last night," officials told PTI.
There was no firing by Pakistan Rangers from the night of January 3 till January 4 evening.

Residents of border villages continued to leave for safer areas in view of the latest round of ceasefire violations by Pakistan since New Year eve.

Over 3,500 people have migrated from border villages in Samba and Kathua districts.

Chowdhary said that heavy firing from across the border is going on and as soon as it halts the administration will launch rescue operation for the stranded villagers.
"Buses have been kept on standby as right now it is difficult to launch the rescue operations," the deputy commissioner said.

A senior BSF officer said that Pakistan side has deliberately started targeting the civilian population but the border guards here were giving a befitting reply.

"We are replying to them in the language they understand," the officer said.
On the new year's eve, Pakistani rangers had targeted a BSF patrol party along the international border in Samba sector killing a BSF soldier and injuring other.

Four Pakistani rangers were killed in the retaliatory action by the Border Security forces.
Following the sudden spurt in the ceasefire violations, over 3,500 people had migrated from border villages in Samba and Kathua districts.

Around 2,500 people migrated from 11 villages in Kathua after the shelling and 1,800 people are in relief camps.

Administration has provided bedding, tarpaulin, blankets, ration, lentils, firewood, drinking water and other basic items at these relief camps, Choudhary said.Camp commanders and camp officers have been appointed for overseeing arrangements and provision of relief.

Committees of camp inhabitants have also been constituted for coordination. Rs 5,000 each were given to the families of 5 persons injured during firing yesterday, he said.

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