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Inspector General of Border Security Force (BSF), Jammu frontier, Ram Awtar also ruled out that sniping or an attack by enemy personnel wearing ‘thermal camouflage suits’ led to the two casualties on the International Border (IB) here.
Both BSF personnel fell to cross-border firing from Pakistan, he said.
Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Satya Narayan Yadav and Constable Vijay Kumar Pandey – both residents of Uttar Pardesh – were killed and 13 civilians injured in an unprovoked and indiscriminate firing by Pakistani rangers in Akhnoor, Kanachak and Khour sectors of Jammu district today, officials said.
The violation comes nearly a week after DGMOs of both countries agreed to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit”.
Awtar said the ceasefire violation by Pakistan after the recent DGMO level talks between New Delhi and Islamabad again proved that the neighbouring country’s words did not match its deeds.
“It is saying something but doing something else. The latest incident proved it once again,” he said. Awtar said the BSF was strictly implementing the decision taken at the DGMO level by the two countries last week.
“Suddenly, Pakistan started firing around 1.15am, injuring two of our personnel who later succumbed,” he said referring to the latest incident. It was targeted firing on forward duty points by Pakistan, he added.
Talking to reporters after the wreath laying ceremony of the deceased personnel at the force headquarters here, the senior BSF officer said the casualties were not the result of sniping but of sudden cross-border firing from Pakistan.
“We have strongly responded and in the coming days we will come to know about the damage suffered by Pakistan in the retaliatory action,” he said.
He said the BSF did not target civilian locations but Pakistani forces did.
We only targeted the locations that targeted us but Pakistan, on the other hand, started targeting civilian areas of Pragwal and Kanachak since wee hours resulting in civilian casualties and damage to civil property, Awtar said.
Asked about rumours suggesting the casualties were caused by personnel wearing ‘thermal camouflage suits’ to avoid detection, he said “I don’t think something like that happened in this case.”
“There is a need to study this case thoroughly. After every incident we do a detailed study and accordingly take precautionary measures for the future. This incident of cross-border firing will be probed as well,” the BSF IG said.
Earlier on Sunday, the bodies of two slain personnel were brought to the BSF headquarters where the wreath laying ceremony was held to bid farewell to them.
State Power Minister Sunil Sharma and former health minister Bali Baghat joined senior BSF, police and civil officers to pay tributes to the slain personnel whose bodies were later sent to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh.
Power Minister Sharma warned Pakistan to desist from such activities or get ready to be wiped out from the face of the earth.
“This time the central government is very determined and our message to Pakistan is to either change or get ready to be wiped out,” the power minister said.
He saluted the bravery of the security personnel and said “there is tolerance level and India has shown much patience. I think the time has come we should teach Pakistan a lesson for its misadventures.”
He lauded border residents for braving frequent Pakistan shelling and said the time was not far when they will get rid of this menace.
“Though it is the domain of the centre, defence ministry and defence strategists, we understand that we are not going to tolerate the killings anymore. We are making our efforts to normalize the situation but they are showing desperation and hurling grenades and firing on the borders,” he said. India would not be cowed down by such actions, he asserted.