November 2017 News

BSF Jawan Martyred, 2 Rangers Dead; 3 Pak Posts Damaged

2 November 2017
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: After lull of about a month, tension again flared up on the International Border (IB) in Samba sector where a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan was martyred in Pakistan's firing while, in retaliation, two Rangers were killed and their two to three posts were decimated. Exchanges between BSF and Rangers continued for about four hours. Fresh skirmishes between BSF and Rangers on the International Border have spread wave of panic among the border dwellers as they feared that Pakistan could again target the civilians just like they had done in the month of September in which a civilian was killed and 20 others were injured while nearly 20,000 people had to flee from their houses. Sources told the Excelsior that the Pakistani Rangers resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation on the IB in Samba sector at 9.30 am today targeting a BSF patrol party. The Rangers targeted the patrol party with heavy fire arms and mortars in which BSF constable Tapan Mondal was seriously injured. The injured constable was immediately evacuated from the site of firing and shifted to hospital but he succumbed to his injuries. Martyr Tapan Mondal was aged 25 and hailed from village Satui in Berham town of Murshidabad district in West Bengal. He is survived by his mother, Sumitra Mondal. Body of the martyr is in the process of being sent to his native town with full military honours. The BSF retaliated effectively to the ceasefire violation in Samba sector and heavy exchanges continued till 2 pm. 'In response to misadventure of Pakistani Rangers in which constable Tapan Mondal attained martyrdom while patrolling the border fencing, BSF carried out calibrated retributive action against Pakistan Rangers and caused extensive damage to Pakistan's two to three posts and grievous injuries to minimum two Pakistani Rangers. Retaliatory action continued up to 2 pm till Pakistan side silenced their weapons,' BSF said. Sources said the two Pakistani Rangers, who had sustained multiple splinter injuries in retaliatory firing by the BSF, have succumbed to their injuries and there were reports that another Ranger was injured. Three posts of the Rangers have been completely destroyed in retaliatory firing by the BSF. There have been Intelligence inputs that some trained militants have been camping on Pakistan side of the International Border opposite Samba and Hiranagar sectors, waiting for an opportunity to sneak into this side. Sources didn't rule that fresh ceasefire violations by the Rangers might have been aimed at giving cover to the militants to intrude into the Indian territory. 'The BSF was already maintaining very high alert all along the International Border to ensure that the militants didn't manage to infiltrate into this side,' sources said. The month of September this year had witnessed heavy mortar shelling and firing on the International Border in three Sectors including Arnia, RS Pura and Ramgarh in which a civilian and a BSF jawan were martyred while nearly 20 other civilians were injured. Large number of cattle had also perished in the firing and shelling while number of houses were damaged. In retaliation, over a dozen Pakistani Rangers had suffered fatal and non-fatal casualties while 15 posts of the enemy had been damaged. Nearly 50,000 Pakistani people had to desert the forward villages. However, exchange of shelling and firing had come to an end after Sector Commander level flag meeting between BSF and Rangers on September 30. In the meeting, Pakistan had given assurance to the BSF that it would maintain peace and tranquility on the International Border. However, nearly a month later, Pakistan today again violated ceasefire. Fresh tensions on the International Border have resulted into panic among the people living within shelling and firing range as they feared that Pakistani Rangers after suffering heavy damages at the hand of BSF might target the innocent civilians by resorting to mortar shelling and firing in civilian areas. Significantly, Line of Control (LoC) has been peaceful in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri for more than a week now after witnessing heavy exchange of mortar shelling and firing for past nearly six months. Pakistan has suffered extensive damage in retaliatory firing by the Army on the LoC.