NEW DELHI: In escalating ceasefire violations that continued on Wednesday night and Thursday forenoon, Pakistani troops targeted 65 BSF Border Out Posts and several civilian hamlets along the International Border.
Speaking to the Express over phone from Jammu, BSF IG Rakesh Sharma said the violations by Pakistani forces was dealt effectively and ceasefire violations will be responded with full force. “We gave befitting reply from all BoPs that were targeted by Pakistan Rangers. They started heavy mortar shelling around 8:45 pm on Wednesday without any provocation. This is very surprising that they have continued to target civilian hamlets,” Sharma said, adding that there is no question of flag meeting unless Pak stops violations along the IB. Sharma said the civil police have activated crisis management on the ground to evacuate civilians in the affected areas and over 7,000 people were moved to safer locations set up by the local administration.
D K Pathak, DG BSF, who briefed Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami and Intelligence Bureau Chief Asif Ibrahim on Thursday, confirmed that Pakistani troops fired 5 mortar shells around 8.30 am targeting Arnia village.
Pathak said intermittent firing continued till 11.30 am across the 200-KM border zone. “As long as they keep on firing, we will have to keep on retaliating, because we are mandated to guard our border, protect the civilians living in the border area. So as long as targeting goes on, we will be responding to it,” Pathak said. Pathak said the BSF jawans retaliated with very heavy fire targeting Pakistani BoPs.
“We retaliated to their (Pakistan troops) fire and till about 11 pm. There was heavy firing from both the sides and after that the intensity of fire reduced and again at around 5.30 am the firing started from their side and the last firing was there at around 9.30 am,” Pathak added.
According to BSF sources in Jammu, some launch pads of terrorist, located very close to Pak Rangers’ posts may have been completely destroyed in the heavy shelling by the BSF.
They said at least 67 Pak Rangers’ posts across the border were pounded with heavy firing after it violated the ceasefire.