Srinagar: A total of three civilians, including a one-year-old baby and an 8-year-old boy, were killed in India and Pakistan in overnight cross border firing between the border guards of the two countries along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir.
Police sources said that an 8-year-old boy died and 4 other civilians were injured in fresh shelling and firing by Pakistani border guards in Kanachak sector of Jammu along IB late on Sunday night.
Two persons, including the one-year-old baby, were killed and seven others were injured in overnight firing by Indian troops across the border, Pakistani authorities said on Monday.
A Border Security Force (BSF) head-constable Sushil Kumar who was injured in the Pakistani Rangers’ firing in the R.S. Pura sector of the IB on Sunday succumbed in a Jammu hospital late in the night.
He had sustained a splinter injury in the upper part of his chest while retaliating to the firing and shelling by the Pakistan Rangers, officials said on Monday. Another BSF jawan was injured in the Pakistan firing, they added.
This came a day after the death of another BSF jawan Gurnam Singh, who was hit in the sniper attack in Hiranagar sector along the IB in Kathua district on Friday night.
Pakistan Rangers violated the November 2003 ceasefire agreement twice on Sunday in the R.S. Pura sector of Jammu district, BSF officials said. They violated ceasefire in neighbouring Pargwal and Kanachak areas as well, officials added.
Giving the details of the incidents, a BSF spokesman said the Pakistan Rangers targeted 13 border outposts and villages in R.S. Pura and neighbouring Pargwal and Kanachak, using mortar shells and firing small arms.
The BSF had earlier warned Pakistan against any misadventure saying, “We’re ready for any eventuality". Its Additional Director General, Arun Kumar, on Sunday said: “If they try to do anything, they will be given a befitting reply. We are fully prepared for that.”
The BSF and the Army have accused their Pakistani counterparts of indulging in multiple ceasefire violations both along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir following the surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). India, in the last week of September, said it conducted surgical strikes on the launch-pads of terrorists in PoK.
Pakistan strongly denied the cross-border raids, while alleging that the Indian troops targeted its forward posts in violation of ceasefire agreement that left two of its soldiers dead.
The BSF had last week claimed killing seven Pakistan Rangers in the retaliatory firing in Hiranagar sector of the Kathua district. However, Director General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa had termed BSF’s claim of killing 7 of Pakistan Rangers as “false,” while admitting that the BSF targeted the Pakistan Rangers’ positions in Shakargarh area facing Hiranagar.
He said that no Pakistani trooper was hit or killed in the Indian firing.
On Monday, the ISPR said in a statement, "Due to unprovoked Indian firing at the Working Boundary last night, a civilian Muhammad Latif of village Janglora and a minor Haniya embraced shahadat while seven civilians were injured."
It claimed that the Pakistan Rangers Punjab responded "befittingly" to Indian firing and shelling in Harpal, Pukhlian and Charwah sectors on the border and that intermittent exchange of fire continued through the night.
It also said that the injured civilians have been shifted to Combined Military Hospital Sialkot. In an earlier statement issued on Sunday night, the ISPR had said that BSF troops opened fire in the Chuprar and Harpal sectors....