Pak Breaks 50 Days Truce On IB, Opens Firing

Pak Breaks 50 Days Truce On IB, Opens Firing

19 December 2013
The Daily Excelsior


Jammu: Nearly 50 days long peace along the International Border (IB) in Jammu sector was broken by the Pakistani Rangers this afternoon in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district barely two days after India and Pakistan agreed to hold Director General of Military Operations (DGMOs) level talks at Wagah border in Punjab on December 24. A Border Security Force (BSF) Sub Inspector was injured in sniper firing by the Rangers at 1.05 pm today when he was leading a BSF patrol on the IB amidst dense fog in the area. “This was the first ceasefire violation by the Pakistani Rangers during past about 50 days after the flag meeting between BSF and Rangers at Octroi Post in Suchetgarh sectors of RS Pura on October 29, which was held after fortnight long hostilities between the two sides in which a BSF jawan was killed and 30 others including 17 civilians and 13 security personnel were injured,’’ official sources told the Excelsior. They said the Rangers took advantage of dense fog conditions in the plain areas along the IB and fired a sniper shot targeting a BSF patrol party between Pillar No. 45 and 46 at Faqira Post in Manyari forward area of Hiranagar sector at 1.05 pm. The sniper shot hit a BSF Sub Inspector Jatinder Singh of 68 battalion on right shoulder causing him serious injuries. The BSF didn’t retaliate, sources said. The injured BSF jawan was evacuated from the site of firing and shifted to Hiranagar hospital from where he was referred to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu, where he was responding to the treatment. Senior BSF officers rushed to the spot for on spot review of the situation as sniper firing from the Pakistan side came just two days after Pakistan asked for DGMO level talks and India responded favourably. The talks were mutually agreed upon for December 24 at Wagah border in Amritsar district of Punjab. India and Pakistan had agreed for DGMO level talks to resolve ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts along the Line of Control (LoC) and IB in Jammu and Kashmir during talks between Prime Ministers of the two countries-Dr Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharief in September end at United Nations. However, the talks have matured nearly after the three months and were now scheduled to be held on December 24. Sources said there was a possibility that the Rangers had mixed up with some civilians in the forward areas and fired the sniper shot when the entire area was engulfed with dense fog and visibility was very low injuring the BSF jawan. “It was, however, a targeted fire whether it was opened from the forward post of Rangers or any other areas. It was a hostile act by the Rangers. However, the BSF didn’t open firing immediately and exercised restraint to maintain the agreement reached between the two sides in the flag meeting held on October 29,’’ sources said. After the flag meeting, no ceasefire violation or infiltration attempt has been reported from Pakistan side on the IB. Even the LoC had been virtually normal for past quite some time barring few infiltration attempts in Poonch sector, which the Army successfully thwarted. In the flag meeting on October 29, the BSF and Rangers had agreed to maintain ceasefire and peace along the IB to facilitate return of migrants on both sides to their houses and the farmers to cut their grown up crops. The agreement was reached at a high level flag meeting that was attended by BSF and Rangers at Octroi Post in Suchetgarh sector of RS Pura. That was the last contact between BSF and Rangers after near fortnight long hostilities and escalated tensions on the International Border leading to frequent ceasefire violations by the Rangers with mortar shelling and firing on civilians areas and BSF posts in which a BSF jawan was killed and 30 BSF personnel and civilians were injured during past fortnight. Pakistan had also suffered heavy damages. DIG BSF, Jammu sector J C Singla, DIG BSF Varinder Singh and DIG BSF Dharmendera Pareekh besides 7 Sector Commanders of their Units deployed from Kathua to Akhnoor sector on the IB and eight other senior officers represented BSF at the flag meeting. Pakistan Rangers were led by Sialkot Headquarters Brigadier Mateen and 14 other officers including Commanding Officers of their units deployed on the IB.