January 2018 News
Pak Suffers Heavy Casualties, Mortar Posts Razed To Ground4 January 2018
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: The BSF has inflicted heavy casualties and damages on Pakistan by killing and injuring a number of Rangers, most likely around a dozen, smashing their two mortar posts and thwarting an infiltration attempt along the International Border (IB) in RS Pura sector, after yesterday's martyrdom of a BSF Head Constable in Samba. Though there was no official word from the BSF on 'exact number of casualties', both fatal and non-fatal, suffered by the Rangers, reliable reports said the number could be 'around a dozen'. 'Many Rangers have been killed or injured in retaliatory firing by the BSF after the BSF Head Constable RP Hazra was martyred yesterday afternoon in Pakistan firing at Chak Dulma in Samba sector,' reports said, adding that there was panic among the Rangers, which was quite visible with ambulances taking repeated rounds of forward areas of Sialkot sector of Pakistan. Three civilians were also injured on Pakistan side as they were caught in the retaliatory firing even though the BSF directly targeted the posts of Rangers and not the civilian areas to avenge the killing of Hazra. 'Two mortar posts of the Rangers were located, targeted and destroyed in retaliatory action by the BSF opposite Samba sector post-martyrdom of Hazra,' reports said, adding these Pakistani posts were planning to target civilian population in Samba sector by firing mortar shells in the forward villages along the International Border. However, the BSF undertook pre-emptive action and razed to ground both the Pakistani mortar posts across Samba sector. The Rangers manning these two posts were either killed or injured, reports said. The coordinated precision fire of BSF troopers silenced the Pakistani guns. Meanwhile, alert BSF jawans early today foiled an infiltration bid, killing a Pakistani terrorist along the International Border in Arnia sector of Jammu district. Sources said the BSF had reports that under the cover of last evening's ceasefire violations along the International Border, Pakistani Rangers could try to facilitate infiltration attempt by the militants to push them into this side for a subversive act. At about 5.45 am, the BSF jawans observed movement of two to three infiltrators from Nikowal Border Out Post (BOP) in Arnia sector and challenged them to surrender. In retaliatory action, one of the Pakistani terrorist was killed at 7 am. The other intruders managed to escape back to Pakistan. Yesterday, BSF jawan R P Hazra was killed in unprovoked firing by Pakistan, the first this year, in Samba sector and the force had since then launched retaliatory fire. Pakistani troops also violated ceasefire by firing and shelling posts along the LoC in Rajouri district last night and shelling exchanges continued throughout the night along the IB. 'Post death of BSF trooper Head Constable R P Hazra from unprovoked fire by Pak forces on Jammu IB in Samba sector yesterday, the retaliation continued till late night', sources said. 'The unprovoked fire from Pakistan started first from small arms which later coupled with mortar shelling throughout the night', he said. BSF maintains extra vigil on IB to negate intrusion attempts which is aided by forces on the other side of the IB, sources said, adding that firing across the IB is most of the time a diversionary tactic for facilitating intrusion. Meanwhile, the BSF has launched 'Operation Alert' along over 200 kilometer long International Border in Jammu to curb the increasing movement of infiltrating militants from across the border. 'There are inputs that there is movement of militants and accordingly, we have declared 'Ops Alert' on the border,' Inspector General of BSF Jammu Frontier, Ram Awatar told reporters here today. The BSF gave a military send off by organizing wreath- laying ceremony at Frontier Headquarters, Paloura, near here, in the honour of Head Constable Radha Pada Hazra, who was martyred in firing by Pakistani Rangers along the IB in Samba sector yesterday. 'It is because of the alertness that they have acted like that (resorting to firing). The moral of the BSF is high and will continue to remain high,' the IG BSF said. He said the effort of the BSF was to maintain peace along the border, but Pakistan was always trying to disturb this peace. 'It is because of this machination of Pakistan that they yesterday martyred one jawan by sniping,' he said. Giving details of yesterday's incident, the IG said 'this jawan was performing duty at a forward post and there were four to five rounds of fire from Pakistan and one of them hit him'. 'It was followed by automatic weapon fire. After getting intimation the neighbouring mounts retaliated and solid response was given by the BSF in which Pakistan has suffered large human and property loss', he added. Pak posts were destroyed and the entire infrastructure in those posts has been damaged, the officer said. Meanwhile, there was panic among the villagers living along the International Border in Hiranagar, Samba, Arnia, Ramgarh and RS Pura sector following yesterday's firing by the Rangers in which a cattle was killed in Hiranagar while some houses had suffered damages. Some people have already shifted to safer areas from border villages of Hiranagar sector anticipating firing by Pakistan.