Stepping up ceasefire violations, Pakistani Rangers Friday night resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing on 8 BSF posts along the Indo-Pak border in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir, forcing a strong retaliation from the Indian side.
Friday’s ceasefire violation was the fourth by the Rangers in as many days and the eighth in the last nine days.
With the violations continuing unabated, Home Minister Rajnath Singh ordered the Border Security Force(BSF) to respond with “appropriate” action. Singh also said the firing was unprovoked.
“Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling along International Border (IB) in Samba and Hiranagar sectors of J&K since 2135 hours tonight”, a senior Police officer told PTI.
There was firing on 4 Border Out Posts (BoPs) in Samba sector including at Regal, Challiyari, Suchetgarh and also on 3 to 4 such posts upto Bansantar forward belt in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district, he said.
The firing and mortar shelling by Pakistani Rangers has come from Razab Sheed, Asif Sheed, Chak Bhura, New Pak and Dhandhar Posts, according to reports.
BSF troops guarding the IB has strongly retaliated resulting in heavy exchanges, which is still going on when the reports last came from the area late tonight, the officer said.
Police used speakers and announced that people should stay indoors and not to venture outside, he said, adding that they have been also told to take shelter in bunkers.
Earlier in the day, Singh said there is no doubt that Pakistan was trying to push militants into J and K and giving cover to such attempts by continuous firing along the border.
“No doubt about that,” Rajnath Singh told reporters in Delhi when asked whether the repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan were to cover infiltration attempts by militants.
The Home Minister said Pakistan has been firing towards Indian side along the IB in Jammu region and the BSF was giving a befitting reply.
“BSF jawans are giving a befitting reply,” he said.
When asked about Islamabad’s protest against heavy firing by India, Singh said it was Pakistan which started the firing and “we are just responding to it”.
Pakistan Rangers yesterday targeted 13 BoPs in Samba sector a day after four Pakistani rangers were killed in a sharp counter-attack following the death of an Indian jawan in cross-border firing.
The Home Minister had said Pakistan should desist from such violations.
“Pakistan should not do this,” Singh had said.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had also said that Islamabad does not seem to learn any lesson.