Border trouble: no BSF, Rangers meet at Octroi

Border trouble: no BSF, Rangers meet at Octroi

20 August 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Tension on the borders in Jammu sector including the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) had its impact on Eid celebrations also with BSF and Rangers refusing to exchange sweets and gifts on the IB at Octroi Post in Suchetgarh sector even as troops of India and Pakistan celebrated the festival together at Chakan-Da-Bagh on LoC in Poonch sector today. This was after a long gap that sweets were not exchanged on the IB at Octroi Post on a major festival, the reason being heavy firing by the Rangers at Abdullian up to Suchetgarh sector in RS Pura tehsil on August 17 and 18 in which one BSF jawan was killed. The heavy firing had also triggered panic among the people on the border areas. Official sources told the Excelsior that in view of increased tension on the IB especially after the killing of BSF jawan on the night of August 17 in firing by the Rangers, the exchange of sweets didn't take place at Octroi Post in Suchetgarh sector of RS Pura tehsil. On August 15, the BSF and Rangers had met at Octroi Post and exchanged sweets and fruits on the occasion of Independence Day of India. However, sources said, by that time, only three BSF jawans had been injured in firing by the Rangers. ‘‘Now when a BSF jawan has been killed only three days back, it was not possible for us to take sweets from the Rangers', a senior BSF officer said. However, on the LoC, the officers of India and Pakistan Army exchanged sweets at Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch district. Major Javed Khan, Major Umar Gul and Major Tanveer Ahmad from 11 Balouch extended Eid greetings to Indian Army officials Major S Manhas and Major S S Sehgal along with other jawans, who gathered at Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch district at 10.30 am today. Both sides exchanged Eid greetings followed by sweets and fruits. The ceremony lasted about 40 minutes. Responding to a question by the few reporters, Major Tanveer of Pakistan Army said it could be the militants, who might have fired on Indian troops on August 14 and 15 at Krishna Ghati sector before and after exchange of sweets at Chakan-Da-Bagh on the occasion of Independence Day of the two countries. Asked how the militants could come so close to LoC without support of Pakistan Army, Major Tanveer had no answer. However, he claimed that Pakistan was also a victim of terrorism. Meanwhile, the BSF jawans continued searches at Garkhal and surrounding villages on the IB in Akhnoor sector after last night's infiltration attempt by the militants in which one intruder was killed. During searches, the BSF this morning recovered body of the intruder. From his possession, one Pakistan made cigarette packet, perfume bottle, diaries and other items were recovered. Sources said he might have been pushed ahead of the intruder to see alertness of the troops. The infiltration attempt was foiled, they added. A senior BSF officer said the Rangers have started firing at different places on the IB to divert attention from the international embarrassment suffered by Pakistan after the detection of an underground tunnel dug by Pakistan authorities about 540 meters inside the Indian territory from across the IB at forward village of Chechwal in Samba sector. He added that since Pakistan plot of infiltrating militants from tunnel has been foiled, they were resorting to firing at different places to push militants and create tension among the people living in forward areas. It was eighth ceasefire violation on IB last night while six incidents of firing and ceasefire violations have been reported on the LoC in Poonch sector during past about fortnight. On August 17, there was heavy cross-border small arms firing on India posts along IB in Abdullian and Korotona Border Out Posts (BoPs) from Pakistan in R S Pura sub-sector in which BSF jawan Chander Rai was killed. There were two firing incidents and ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Pansar (BoP) along IB in Samba sector and Krishna Ghati forward belt along LoC barely on August 15. On August 13, Pakistani troops had opened firing on Indian posts along the Indo-Pak border in Arnia sector of Jammu district. On July 11, a BSF jawan was injured after Pakistani troops opened fire on Indian posts along the Indo-Pak border in Arnia sector of Jammu district. On August 7, India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the International Border in which two jawans were injured. Pakistan has violated the ceasefire 37 times this year. There were 51 cases of ceasefire violation in 2011, 44 cases in 2010 and 28 in 2009. Pakistan troops had fired on several Indian posts along Indo-Pak border in Krishna Ghati sub-sector of Poonch district on August 8. On August 6, Pakistan troops had fired at Indian posts with rockets and using small arms fire to target BSF's Border outpost (BoP)of Pansar along IB in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district resulting in injuries to two BSF jawans. On the same day, Pakistan troops had opened indiscriminate fire on the forward posts along the LoC in Poonch sector and it continued intermittently for few hours as Army troops also replied. On August 5, Pakistan Rangers fired on Indian BoPs in Kote Kuba area along IB in R S Pura sector in Jammu district.