Two BSF men killed as Pakistan again violates ceasefire in Jammu

Volunteers and police personnel carry Sulakshana Devi, who was injured in cross border firing between Indian and Pakistan, into the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu on Sunday. AFP

Two paramilitary BSF troopers, including an officer, were killed while three civilians injured as Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy firing and shelling along the International Border (IB) in Jammu region on Saturday night.

The latest ceasefire violations came just days after the Director General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan decided to implement the 2003 truce agreement in letter and spirit.

Reports said the Rangers targeted at least 10 BSF posts and 30 border hamlets in Pragwal sector of Aknoor in Jammu from Saturday midnight.

A Border Security Force (BSF) official said assistant sub-inspector SN Yadav and constable VK Pandey of the 92 Battalion BSF were critically injured in Pakistani sniper firing.

Both the injured were shifted to nearby military hospital where they succumbed, he said and added the fire was retaliated and the cross border shelling continued for several hours.

The three injured civilians were identified as Sulakshana Devi, Bansi Lal from Pargwal, and Balwinder Singh of Jattan De Kothe.

Reports said the heavy cross-border shelling raged in Jammu's RS Pora and Samba sectors as Pakistani army targeted many civilian areas.

On May 29, the DGMOs of India and Pakistan agreed to “fully implement” the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit” forthwith to stop border skirmishes in Jammu & Kashmir.

Soon after the DGMOs talk, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti welcomed the move and had hoped restoration of the ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit.

Since the beginning of this year the number of people killed in over 850 incidents of Pakistani shelling along the IB and Line of Control (LoC) in the state has risen to 46.

The deceased include 20 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.

'Aiding militants'

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

The latest incident of cross-border shelling comes a day after Srinagar city was rocked by grenade attacks in a span of few hours on Saturday evening.

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