Four BSF men including officer killed in Pak firing

Four BSF men including officer killed in Pak firing

Four BSF personnel including Assistant commandant Jatinder Singh were killed and three others injured in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan.

BSF officials and jawans carry the bodies of four BSF personnel, killed in Pakistani firing, after a wreath laying ceremony at Paloura BSF Headquarters in Jammu on Wednesday. PTI

Just two weeks after Indo-Pak Armies agreed to maintain ceasefire on borders, four BSF personnel, including an officer, were killed and five others injured in an unprovoked firing by Pakistan in Samba district of Jammu on Wednesday. 

A BSF official said Pakistan rangers initiated cross-border firing and shelling along the International Border (IB) in Chamliyal post area of Ramgarh sector of Samba on Tuesday night. “We lost four of our personnel, including an assistant commandant rank officer, while five others suffered injuries,” Ram Awtar, Inspector General, BSF (Jammu Frontier) told reporters.

State police chief Shesh Pal Vaid while expressing his condolence over the incident, said, “It was not immediately clear whether the BSF personnel was killed last night (Tuesday) or in the wee hours today (Wednesday).” The deceased were identified as assistant commandant Jatinder Singh (34), sub-inspector Rajneesh Kumar (32), assistant sub-inspector Ram Niwas (52) and constable Hans Raj (28). 

The latest killings have once again shattered the rickety 2003 ceasefire, which Director General Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan agreed to respect and uphold. 

K N Chaubey, Additional Director General of BSF Western Command, said that Pakistan has not honoured the ceasefire agreement. “We have but Pakistan has not honoured ceasefire agreement. And what Pakistan does is Pakistan's business and how we respond to betrayal is our job,” he said. 

Asked whether the BSF will lodge a protest with Pakistan, he said, "Of course, it would." 

This was the second major ceasefire violation along the IB in June which came despite DGMOs of the two countries agreeing to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit" on May 29.

With Wednesday's killings, the BSF has suffered highest number of causalities in cross-border shelling along the IB in the last five years. Eleven BSF personnel have been killed from January 1 till date due to Pakistani ceasefire violations. In 2017, two BSF personnel were killed and seven injured due to sniping and mortar shelling while in 2016 three BSF personnel were killed and 10 injured in such incidents. 

Since the beginning of this year, the number of persons killed in over 850 incidents of Pakistani shelling along the IB and Line of Control (LoC) in the state has increased to 50. The deceased include 24 security personnel and 26 civilians.

Last month nearly 40,000 people had migrated from the border villages of Jammu due to intense shelling from the Pakistani side. Sources said that Pakistani troops were keeping the pot boiling on the IB and the LoC as they want to push heavily armed militants into the Indian side under the cover of ceasefire violations.

“Majority of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops were either aimed at targeting civilians or aiding and abetting infiltration attempts by the militants,” they said.