Will maintain border dominance and territorial integrity: BSF
After a brief lull along the border with Pakistani Punjab in Jammu region, guns roared again early Wednesday leaving four border security force personnel dead in the Ramgarh area of Samba district, officials said.
The soldiers killed in the Pakistani fire included an assistant commandant of BSF. Three other soldiers were wounded in the cross border fire.
A BSF spokesman said Pakistani Rangers from their Asraf Post initially targeted a border outpost at Chamliyal and Narayan post in Ramgarh around 10 in the night, using flat high trajectory weapons and injured four personnel of 62nd battalion of the border guards.
“They later succumbed to their injuries at around 0230 hours on Wednesday morning. The firing continued till 4:30 am on Wednesday,” the spokesman said.
The deceased BSF personnel have been identified as Assistant Commandant Jitender Singh, SI Rajneesh, ASI Ramniwas and Constable Hansraj.
The three injured soldiers, SI Zental Sil, Constable Sujan Dass and Constable Vikas Kumar were being treated at the Army Hospital in Satwari area of the Jammu city.
The cross border firing was the second since the Directors General of Military Operations of India and Pakistan pledged on May 29 to uphold the 2003 ceasefire agreement in “letter and sipirit”.
On June 3, two BSF soldiers were killed and 10 persons, mostly civilians, injured in heavy shelling and cross border firing by Pakistani Rangers along the border in Kanachack, Pargwal and Khour.
A top BSF official said it was “very unfortunate” that Pakistan did not respect the bilateral ceasefire “despite requesting” to uphold the 2003 pact between the rival forces.
“Ceasefire is always a bilateral decision. There was a meeting with our sector DIGs and the counterpart designated officers. And, there it was decided that there will be ceasefire. We’ve maintained the sanctity of ceasefire,” Additional Director General of BSF, Jammu Frontier, Kamal Nath Choubey said.
“Pakistan has not. It has violated it.”
He said Pakistan betrayed its commitments made during the recent Sector Commander level meeting.
“What Pakistan is doing in Pakistan’s business. How we respond to the betrayal is our job,” Choubey said.
He said BSF were always prepared to dominate the heavily militarised border with Pakistan to maintain India’s territorial integrity.
“What is going to unfold in terms of our operational preparedness is not something we’re going to share with media, but will suffice to say that we will maintain the dominance, we will maintain the territorial integrity,” Choubey, the ADG BSF said, adding that a protest will be lodged with the Pakistan army about the latest “ceasefire violation”.
He said it was too early to conclude if the border firing was meant to provide cover for militants to sneak in.
“I am just saying that right now, we’re just concerned about such a gross violation of ceasefire when meeting took place on their (Pakistan’s) request. For us, the main concern is the lack of credibility in their request for ceasefire.”