Pakistan Rangers violate ceasefire in J&K's Samba district; four BSF personnel, including one officer, killed

Jammu: Four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, including an officer, were killed and three others were injured in unprovoked firing by Pakistan Rangers along the International Border (IB) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, a senior BSF officer said.

"Pakistan Rangers initiated cross-border firing along IB in Ramgarh sector on Tuesday night. We have lost four of our personnel, including an assistant commandant rank officer, while three other personnel suffered injuries," IG, BSF (Jammu Frontier), Ram Awtar told PTI.

He said Pakistan Rangers and the BSF had recently agreed to ensure ceasefire along the IB but the former violated it by initiating cross-border firing.

In a tweet, Jammu and Kashmir director general of police (DGP) SP Vaid expressed his condolence over the incident.

The firing from across the border in Chamliyal post area of Ramgarh sector started around 10.30 pm on Tuesday and continued till 4.30 am on Wednesday, a police official said, requesting anonymity. He said it was not immediately clear what time the BSF personnel were killed.

The BSF troops also fired in retaliation, the official said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

This is the second major ceasefire violation along the IB this month and came despite director general of military operations (DGMO) of the two countries agreeing on 29 May to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in "letter and spirit" and a sector commander-level (BSF DIG-Rangers Brigadier) meeting on 4 June to ensure peace by "holding fire" along the IB.

On 3 June, two BSF personnel, including an assistant sub-inspector, were killed and 10 persons, mostly civilians, were injured in heavy shelling and firing by Pakistan Rangers along the IB in Pragwal, Kanachak and Khour sectors.

The latest casualties take the number of those killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) this year to 50, including 24 security personnel.

On 29 May, 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 and Kashmir.

Last month, thousands of people residing along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts had to flee their homes following intense shelling from Pakistan between 15 May and 23 May, which left 12 people dead, including two BSF jawans and one infant, and scores of others injured.

After the DGMOs of the two countries spoke to each other, hope rekindled among border residents who had started returning to their homes but the latest incident triggered fresh concerns among them.

On 4 June, the border-guarding forces of India and Pakistan met at the Octroi post and held a 15-minute meeting during which both sides decided to "develop confidence" between them.

The Pakistani side assured that they would not initiate any cross-border firing and the BSF reciprocated by saying that it would only retaliate when provoked.

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Updated Date: Jun 13, 2018 08:08:00 IST

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