India foils ‘major infiltration bid’ as Pak again violates ceasefire along IB

Jammu: Stepping up ceasefire violations, Pakistan tonight resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing on several BSF posts along the Indo-Pak border in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir, drawing a strong retaliation from India which killed two Pakistan Rangers.

BSF sources said they have got reports that five Pakistani Rangers have been killed in the exchange of fire since yesterday, with two casualties post 9:30 P.M.

Today’s ceasefire violation was the fourth by the Rangers in as many days and the eighth in the last nine days.

BSF Director General DK Pathak, who briefed Home Minister Rajnath Singh at 10 P.M. said the force had thwarted a “major infiltration attempt” from across the border tonight and his troops were on high alert.

“We have foiled a major infiltration bid that was being carried out from across the Chorgali border outpost under the cover of heavy ceasefire violation firing,” Pathak said.

With the violations continuing unabated, Singh had ordered BSF to respond with “appropriate” action. The Home Minister also said the firing was unprovoked.

A senior police officer in Jammu earlier told PTI that “Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling along International Border (IB) in Samba and Hiranagar sectors of J&K since 2135 hours tonight.”

Also, IG BSF Rakesh Sharma told PTI that all the BoPs falling in three battalion areas of Samba and Hiranagar are being fired upon by Pakistan amid mortar shelling. Mortar shelling has also hit civilian areas, he said.

There was firing on four Border Out Posts (BoPs) in Samba sector including at Regal, Challiyari, Suchetgarh and also on three to four such posts up to Bansantar forward belt in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district, he said.

The firing and mortar shelling by Pakistani Rangers has come from Razab Sheed, Asif Sheed, Chak Bhura, New Pak and Dhandhar Posts, according to reports.

BSF troops guarding the IB has strongly retaliated, resulting in heavy exchanges which were still ongoing when reports last came in from the area, the officer said.

Police used speakers and announced that people should stay indoors and not venture outside, he said, adding that they have been also told to take shelter in bunkers.