October 2016 News

Pak Denies BSF Killed 15 Soldiers Last Week; Accuses India Of Killing 3 Civilians

28 October 2016
DNA
Ishfaq-ul-Hassan

Srinagar: Border Security Force (BSF) has hit Pakistan Rangers where it hurts the most. More than 15 Pakistan Rangers soldiers have been killed by the BSF in retaliatory action in the last one week along the International Border (IB). Pakistan, however, extended the shelling to the Line of Control (LoC), killing two more civilians in the Mendhar and Chamb sectors of Jammu division on Friday. 'What our people have seen and what we have assessed is that at least 15 Rangers and armymen have been killed on the other side in the last one week,' Additional Director-General of BSF, Arun Kumar, said. Two civilians, a woman and a boy, were killed when Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked shelling on Indian forward posts and civilian areas in Mendhar and Chamb sectors on Friday. Fifty-year-old Isma Begum was killed in Mendhar while Ajay Kumar was killed in Gigiryal village of the Chamb sector. Three civilians - two girls and a man - were injured when Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy shelling on the border outposts and civilian areas on the IB in Hiranagar sector of Jammu division on Friday morning. The death toll of civilians in Pakistan shelling has now touched three in the Jammu division in the last five days. Three BSF troopers, too, have lost their lives in cross-border shelling since Sunday. More than 35 people have been injured in the cross-border firing and shelling in the last five days. Official figures show that two Army jawans and three BSF men too have been killed since the Indian Army's surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on September 29. During the last 24 hours, Pakistan has intensified shelling and carried out 12 ceasefire violations on the IB and Line of Control (LoC). 'We are giving a befitting reply to the ceasefire violations in the RS Pura and Samba sectors, and, particularly, in Jammu. We have never taken any initiative to intensify firing at any point of time. There has been intense firing from across the border, which was strongly retaliated by the BSF and the Army,' said Kumar. Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Northern Command, said there has been unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the Balakote sector from 11.30 am. 'They are using small arms, automatics, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars. Our troops responded appropriately and befittingly. There are no casualties on our side till reports came in last,' he said. Fear has gripped the villages along the Zero Line of IB. Thousands of villagers have fled their homes. The police said 90 per cent of population, living around 12 villages in RS Pura and Arnia, have shifted to safer areas. Breaking her silence, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that war is no solution and Pakistan should initiate dialogue. 'Ultimately we have to form a friendly relationship. India and Pakistan need to sit together like civilised nations and talk. I think there is a need for Pakistan to take the initiative,' she said. Meanwhile, the Pakistan army on Friday claimed that none of its soldiers had died at the border, contradicting the BSF's assertion that it had killed 15 Pakistan Rangers personnel. However, Pakistan accused India of killing three civilians and wounding five others in cross-border fire in the Nakyal sector.

Line