Two BSF soldiers killed, 10 injured in J&K's Akhnoor sector as Pakistan violates ceasefire; Mehbooba Mufti condemns firing

Two BSF personnel, including an officer, were on Sunday killed as Pakistani Rangers targeted Indian posts along the International Border (IB) on Jammu with mortars and firing, a violation which comes nearly a week after DGMOs of both countries agreed to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in "letter and spirit".

The heavy firing and mortar shelling from across the border in Pragwal area of Akhnoor and nearby Kanachak and Khour sectors also left 10 persons, including a policeman and a woman injured, and forced people to abandon their homes and rush for safer places.

“Pakistan side resorted to unprovoked firing by targeting forward duty points at International Border (IB) in Pragwal around 0115 hours, causing critical injuries to Assistant Sub-inspector SN Yadav (48) and constable VK Pandey,” a senior BSF officer told PTI.

He said both the injured were evacuated to medical facilities but succumbed to injuries.

The firing from across the border in violation of the ceasefire agreement prompted a strong and effective retaliation by the BSF, the officer said adding cross-border firing spread to Kanachak and Khour areas as well and was going on when last reports came in.

A police official said nine civilians and a policeman were also injured in the Pakistan shelling and were evacuated to hospital.

He identified six of the injured persons as selection grade constable Zakir Khan, Sulakshana Devi (25), Bansi Lal (40), Balwinder Singh (22), Sudhakar Singh (50) and Vikram Singh (34).

DGMOs should hold dialogue again, says Mehbooba Mufti

Condemning Sunday's firing, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti urged that the DGMOs hold dialogue again and bring the "bloodshed" to an end. "It's unfortunate that this has happened even after Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) held dialogue. People on both sides of the border are dying. The DGMOs should hold dialogue again. This bloodshed must be brought to an end," ANI quoted Mufti as saying.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

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.

The two military commanders reviewed the prevailing situation along the LoC and the IB in Jammu and Kashmir during a conversation over the special hotline.

The hotline contact was initiated by the Pakistani DGMO.

Following the conversation between Indian DGMO Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan and Pakistan's Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, the two armies issued identical statements saying both sides agreed to implement the 15-year-old ceasefire understanding.

The latest deaths in the Pakistani firing raised the casualty figure during ceasefire violations along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) in the state to 46. The dead includes 20 security personnel.

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 an 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 and the people in the affected areas started fleeing their homes.

With inputs from PTI

 


Updated Date: Jun 03, 2018 12:26 PM

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