Officer among 4 BSF personnel killed in Pak Rangers firing along IB in Samba

Jammu, Jun 13: Four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, including an officer, were killed and three others injured in unprovoked firing by Pakistan Rangers along the International Border (IB) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, a senior BSF officer said today.
“Pakistan Rangers initiated cross border firing along IB in Ramgarh sector last night. We have lost four of our personnel, including an assistant commandant rank officer, while other 3 of our personnel suffered injuries,” IG, BSF (Jammu Frontier) Ram Awtar said.
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.
“In Ramgarh Jammu sector of IB , 4 BSF personnel were martyred including one Asstt Commandant & 5 injured due to firing from across. Our heart goes to those who lost their dear ones,” he said.
The firing from across the border in Chamliyal post area of Ramgarh sector started around 10.30 pm yesterday and continued till 4.30 am, a police official said, requesting anonymity.
He said it was not immediately clear whether the BSF personnel were killed last night or in the wee hours today.
The BSF troops also fired in retaliation, the official said.
This is the second major ceasefire violation along the IB this month and came despite Director General Military Operations (DGMO) of the two countries agreeing, on May 29, to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit” and a sector commander-level (BSF DIG-Rangers Brigadier) meeting here on June 4 to ensure peace by “holding fire” along the IB.
On June 3, two BSF personnel, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector, were killed and 10 persons, mostly civilians, 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 May 29, 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 J&K.
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 May 15 and May 23 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.
On June 4, the border-guarding forces of India and Pakistan met at the Octroi post here 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.
Meanwhile, wreath laying ceremony was organized at Frontier Headquarter BSF Camp Paloura Jammu to pay rich tribute to brave soldiers.
Bali Bhagat former Health Minister, Chander Prakash former Minister Industry and Commerce, Gagan Bhagat, MLA RS Pura, SP Vaid, DGP JKP, Dr S D Singh IG JKP, Hemant Kumar Sharma, Div Com, K N Choubey, Addl Director General (WC) BSF, Ram Awtar IG BSF Jammu, BSF officers and men along with other senior officers of the Central and state government paid floral tribute to the Martyrs at BSF FTR HQ in Jammu.
Choubey said that BSF has the history of bravery and borderman always stood force if it comes to the nation security BSF is the most professional force to protect the sovereignty of the national boundary and people of nation can sleep fearlessly while border men are on duty.
ADG BSF further said that the Nation will remain indebted to brave Bordermen for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty and shall be remembered forever whenever the martyr will be remembered.
Choubey reiterated that as a peaceful country we never initiated fire from our side but keep all our options open.
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has expressed deep anguish and grief over the death of four BSF personnel, including an officer, in a cross-border shelling incident in the Ramgarh sector of Samba district today.
Paying rich tributes to the slain personnel, the Chief Minister reiterated her demand for cessation of hostilities along the borders to protect lives and properties of border people who, she said, have been caught in a distressing situation of past few months which has put them to vulnerability.
Mehbooba Mufti said the suspension of operations elsewhere in the State has given the people a sigh of relief and hoped the same is extended to the borders and an atmosphere of peace returns to these areas which had prevailed for more than a decade due to the peace efforts of both the neighboring countries in 2003 around.
The Chief Minister has extended her sympathies to the bereaved families while praying for peace to the departed souls.