BSF Man Killed as Pakistan Troops Fire at Indian Posts
SRINAGAR: After a day’s lull, Pakistani troops again breached border ceasefire and fired on Indian posts and civilian areas along International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, causing death of a border guard.
“Pakistani troops fired from light to heavy weapons on 40 Indian posts and civilian areas in Hira Nagar sector in Kathua and Samba districts in Jammu province of the State in the night,” a BSF official said.
He said the Pakistani troops also targeted Indian posts and civilian areas with mortar shells.
The official said firing and shelling from Pakistani troops stopped in the morning but resumed again in the afternoon.
“They again fired indiscriminately on our posts and civilian areas from 2 pm,” IG BSF Rakesh Sharma told Express over phone.
He said the Pakistani firing and shelling was going on at around 6.30 pm although its intensity has reduced.
“A BSF man was killed in the Pakistani firing in Samba sector,” Sharma said adding BSF men were effectively returning the fire and giving befitting reply to the Pakistani troops.
He said the casualties suffered by Pakistani troops could not be known.
The fresh spell of cross-border firing between Indian and Pakistani border guards started on December 31 and since then two BSF men, two army men and a civilian have been killed on this side.
Four Pakistan Rangers personnel were killed in retaliatory firing of BSF on December 31.
There was halt in Pakistani firing for a day yesterday after five days of continuous clashes between border guards of the two countries.
Army has pressed into service Bomb Disposal Squads to defuse unexploded mortar shells in the border villages and towns in view of continued firing and shelling by Pakistani shelling.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Shantu Manu told Express that over 3000 people had migrated from border areas in Samba and Kathua districts and had taken shelter in 12 relief camps set by government in the two border districts.
He, however, said maximum people had left the relief camps yesterday as there was no firing from Pakistani troops.
“They have been caught in the Pakistani firing and efforts are on to evacuate them to safer places,” Shantu Manu said.
He said the evacuation process could not be started as the border areas were still witnessing firing and shelling from Pakistani troops. “Once firing and shelling stops, civil administration with the assistance of police and security forces will shift them to safer places and relief camps”.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Kathua has ordered closure of all government and private educational institutions in Hiranagar and Marheen zones from tomorrow till further orders.
Army has also launched operation “hausle buland” (Spirit High) to provide succor to the people affected by border firing and shelling.
“Indian Army too, in its customary and traditional show of solidarity with its citizens, is making huge and effective contribution by providing succour to the affected people through planned activities,” Lt Col Manish Mehta, defence spokesman in Jammu said.