Hours after Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde reviewed the security on the border, Pakistani Rangers resumed heavy shelling on Indian posts at more than 50 locations along the 200-kilometer-long International Border (IB) in Jammu division.
A BSF head constable was killed and more than seven others including a civilian were injured in the overnight clashes.
Deputy inspector general of BSF, Jammu Frontier, Dharmendra Parekh told dna that Pakistani Rangers used heavy weapons to target the posts in more than 50 border outpost locations across the IB. “We lost a head constable and three others injured in the Pakistani firing in RS Pora sector. All the wounded soldiers have been shifted to hospital where their condition is stable,” he said.
The slain soldier has been identified as Mukesh Lal Meena of 193 Battalion BSF, who was posted in the border outpost Chinaz in the RS Pora sector. Meena hails from Nipajipura village of Rajasthan.
The firing started at 7.30 pm on Tuesday when Pakistani Rangers started pounding Arnia, RS Pora and Akhnoor sectors in Jammu division.
Within minutes the Pakistani Rangers opened other sectors triggering a war-like situation with bombs and shells illuminating the skies. A mortar bomb also landed in the neighboring village causing serious wounds to a 60 year old civilian Krishan Lal. “I have met him. He is stable,” said Atul Goel, SSP Jammu.
BSF troops retaliated effectively to silence the Pakistani gunners who were using heavy weapons including 60 mm and 83 mm mortars to pound Indian positions and villages. “We retaliated in a calibrated manner but effectively (to silence their guns),” said Parekh.
BSF said the ceasefire violations are deliberate attempt by Pakistan establishment to internationalize the Kashmir issue. “Pakistan army is helping the Rangers. The ceasefire violation is just an attempt to internationalise the Kashmir issue,” said the officer.
BSF’s comment comes a day after Union home minister said there is no role for any third party intervention because “Kashmir is ours”. The increasing number of ceasefire violations has prompted the BSF to rejig the security of the bunkers and store more ammunition to deal with Pakistani aggression. Additional troops are also being rushed to augment the existing forces on the ground.
Meanwhile, J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah softened his stand saying wars only bring destruction. “No one in J&K or in the country is in favour of war as the wars are no solution to any issue.. I would continue to stress on centre to take up this matter (ceasefire violation) with Pakistan and resolve the issue so that peace rules returns on borders.”