BSF Lodges Protest With Pak Over Ceasefire Violations

BSF Lodges Protest With Pak Over Ceasefire Violations

19 October 2013
The Indian Express


Jammu: Following an infiltration bid Saturday morning and several ceasefire violations in the last 24 hours, the BSF has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan Rangers over the incidents along the International Border (IB) in Jammu. The protest was lodged by the BSF through a communication via the forward post at Kulian-Suchetpur in Samba district Saturday after the Pakistani side failed to respond to a call for a flag meeting, a BSF officer said. BSF troops had Saturday morning observed suspicious movement along IB near Kulian-Suchetpur outpost. They had challenged the suspected infiltrators and then opened fire, killing one of them, he said. Pakistani troops, however, denied having a hand in the infiltration attempt. The Rangers had been called for a meeting on the IB, but they failed to turn up even after BSF officials waited for two hours at the 'Zero-Line', he said. Pakistan troops pounded Indian forward posts and civilian areas with 82-mm mortar shells and also resorted to firing across IB in Jammu, injuring two BSF officials. At least 14 Indian forward posts and civilian areas were subjected to firing during the night, police said. BSF troops retaliated effectively to the firing before it finally ceased in the morning, police said. With the injuries to the two officials, the total number of people injured due to Pakistani firing in the past 24 hours has risen to nine, including five civilians. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is set to visit the forward areas along the IB on October 22 to review the situation. Meanwhile, terming the ceasefire violations on the LoC as a matter of serious concern, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Saturday said it is not just an issue of diplomacy but also of military relations. 'The actual on-ground situation is known to the military on both sides,' Khurshid said. As a result of the unprovoked mortar shelling by Pakistani troops and the non-cooperation of the Pakistan Rangers, the J&K government is also bracing up for possible migration by locals if there is an escalation in the situation along the LoC and IB. Sources said Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Shatmanu asked all deputy commissioners in districts along the border to get rough estimates of people hit by Pakistani shelling. Militants ambush Army patrol in Handwara A soldier was injured when militants ambushed an Army patrol in North Kashmir's Handwara . Sources said firing continued for more than 30 minutes. After the attack, the Army launched a search operation in 18 villages to track the militants responsible for the attack, though officials said the Army had so far failed to track them down. Officials suspect the militants may have taken shelter in the dense forests around the village where the ambush took place.