BSF Jawan, 4 Rangers Killed In Heavy Shelling, Firing On IB

31 December 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Four Pakistani Rangers were killed after BSF jawans retaliated effectively the Pakistan shelling and firing in Samba sector during the day in which one BSF jawan was killed and another injured while mortar shells and bullets fell in fields and close to civilians houses at Khwara, Regal, Suchetgarh Kullian and Mawa in Samba sector. The BSF also opened firing in Arnia sector and injured an infiltrator, who was trying to infiltrate into the Indian territory. The Rangers took back the injured infiltrator. Official sources told the Excelsior that the Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing on the BSF posts and civilian areas at Khwara, Regal, Suchetgarh Kullian and Mawa along the International Border in Samba sector at 1.15 pm today. The Rangers directly targeted the BSF pickets killing BSF jawan Sri Ram Gowria son of Bhagu Ram Gowria , a resident of Khatepur, Rajasthan and seriously injuring another, who has been identified as Sunil Kumar. The BSF jawans retaliated effectively leading to heavy exchanges. In the exchange of firing that continued till 3.35 pm, four Rangers were killed. Taken aback by heavy retaliatory firing brought down by the BSF after the killing of their jawan, the Rangers waved white flags and asked the BSF to stop firing to facilitate them to pick up bodies of the dead Rangers. The BSF stopped firing after which the Rangers took away the bodies of their dead colleagues. Sources said the BSF had categorical instructions from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BSF Director General DK Pathak to give effective response to Pakistan retaliation and firing. The BSF did the same leading to killing of four Rangers in retaliation to martyrdom of one BSF jawan and injuries to another. After Rangers suffered four fatal casualties, the firing stopped from Pakistan side. Sources said the mortar shells and bullets, fired by the Rangers from long range weapons, fell in fields and close to houses of civilians at Khwara, Regal, Suchetgarh Kullian and Mawa but there were no civilian casualties. SSP Samba Anil Magotra told the Excelsior that soon after Pakistani Rangers started mortar shelling and heavy firing, they pressed loud speaker fitted vehicles into service making announcements to advise the people to stay indoors in safer locations. The people left the fields and other places of work immediately and took shelter in their houses and bunkers. The BSF also opened firing in forward area of Chenaz in Arnia sector after observing suspicious movement across the International Border. In the firing, an infiltrator was injured, who was taken away by the Rangers. The infiltration attempt was foiled with timely firing by the BSF, sources said. Today's firing by Pakistan in which one jawan was also injured was the second ceasefire violation along the IB in the past 24 hours. IG BSF Rakesh Sharma and other senior officers rushed to the site of firing and supervised operation of the BSF to give befitting reply to the Rangers. 'The Home Minister asked the DG, BSF to provide a suitable and appropriate reply for any such unprovoked firing,' sources said. Pathak gave a detailed presentation to the Home Minister about the ceasefire violations by Pakistan Rangers in the Samba sector. Earlier in the day, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the security forces should not hold back in the face of firing and must retaliate with 'double the force'. This is the second ceasefire violation in the past 24 hours and the sixth in the past over one week. Yesterday, Pakistan troops had resorted to firing on forward posts along the LoC in Pallanwalla sector of Jammu district and Sepoy Amarjeet Singh was injured in the firing. Underlining that the number of ceasefire violations across the LoC have reduced as compared to last year, Parrikar, however, noted that the violations have increased across the IB. Asked what has been his direction to the security forces, Parrikar, who was interacting with defence journalists in New Delhi last night, said, 'Our (NDA government) response is don't hesitate. React appropriately without holding yourself back'. He said that if there are any ceasefire violations, the Indian forces should retaliate 'with double the force' and if there is an attack on Army posts, the terrorists need to be neutralised. The Minister stressed that the Indian forces don't violate ceasefire agreement but only respond to violations by Pakistani troops. Pakistani troops had on Sunday violated the ceasefire twice along the border in Arnia forward belt of Jammu and Hiranagar belt of Kathua district. On December 25, Pakistani Rangers indulged in unprovoked small arms firing in forward areas in Pansar border out post (BoP) belt of Hiranagar sub-sector in Kathua district. On December 24, Pakistani troops had fired mortar shells and small arms targeting the same areas. Over 550 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan took place this year, the highest since the truce came into force in 2003, with the Indo-Pak border witnessing the worst such escalation during August-October period which left 13 people dead and thousands displaced. Pakistani troops had on Sunday violated the ceasefire twice along the border in Arnia forward belt of Jammu and Hiranagar belt of Kathua district.