Manu Srivatsav

BSF soldier, 4 civilians killed in Pak shelling in Jammu

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CM slams Pakistan for violating ceasefire

People try to console the wailing son of slain Tarseem Lal and Manjeet Kour at R S Pura. PHOTO/Kashmir Images

Jammu: Four civilians and a BSF trooper were killed while 12 others were injured as the Pakistan Rangers rained mortars on villages and border outposts in Jammu today, official said.

They said Pakistani troops targeted the areas along the International Border for the fourth day on the trot, triggering fear and panic among the border residents.

Sources identified the killed civilians as Sat Paul, 60; Jag Mohan, 45; Tarseem Lal, 52 and his wife, Manjeet Kour, 45.

Inspector General of the BSF, Jammu Frontier, Ram Awtar said the situation was “tense” and that the paramilitary force was responding to Pakistan appropriately, causing them huge damage.

“The firing and shelling was expected as the harvesting season is over. We have taken suitable action,” the IG said.

The Pakistan Rangers lobbed mortars and opened fire at areas in the R S Pura, Bishnah and Arnia sectors of Jammu from 0100 hours, a senior BSF officer said.

The slain trooper was identified as 28-year-old Constable Sitaram Upadhyaya of the 192 Battalion. He was critically injured at the Jabowal border outpost around 0130 hours and died en route to GMC Hospital in Jammu.

Upadhyay hailed from Giridih in Jharkhand and joined the force in 2011. He is survived by a three-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter, officials said.

An Assistant Sub-Inspector of the BSF also suffered splinter injury at the Pittal border outpost, the officer said adding that he had been hospitalised.

In the heavy Pakistan shelling in the R S Pura and Arnia sectors, four civilians, including a couple, were killed and 12 others injured, Additional District Development Commissioner Arun Manhas said.

SDPO, R S Pura, Sahil Prashur said the police were using bullet-proof vehicles to evacuate the injured to hospital and was reaching out to the people in affected zones. In view of the shelling, the administration has activated the shelter set up.

Yesterday, a BSF trooper was among two persons injured when the Pakistan Rangers opened fire and lobbed mortars at over 15 border outposts and civilian areas along the IB in Samba and Kathua districts.

On May 15, a 28-year-old BSF trooper was killed as Pakistan troops “violated the ceasefire” by opening fire at forward posts to help infiltrators cross the IB in the Samba sector.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today hit out at Pakistan for violating ceasefire in Arnia sector of Jammu region, saying Islamabad has shown no respect for the fasting month of Ramazan.

“Continued firing on the border in Jammu is cause of pain & worry. Sad that while our country took the lead in starting peace initiatives with cessation of operations during Ramzan, Pakistan has shown no respect whatsoever for this holy month,” she said in a series of tweets.

The Chief Minister said Pakistan will have to reciprocate the peace initiatives taken by the Centre by announcing cessation of operations during the fasting month.

“Pakistan will have to reciprocate & contribute to efforts for lasting peace. Everyone must realise that violence is a zero sum game. My deepest condolences to families of victims,” she added.

“Sad that while our country took the lead in starting peace initiatives with cessation of operations during Ramzan, Pakistan has shown no respect whatsoever for this holy month,” she wrote in another tweet.


3 children among 4 civilians killed by Indian firing: ISPR

Pak summons Indian envoy over ‘unprovoked’ LoC firing

Islamabad, May 18: Four people, including three children, were killed while 10 were injured in “unprovoked ceasefire violations” across the Working Boundary (WB) by India on Friday, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release said.

According to the army’s media wing, the Punjab Rangers are responding to Indian fire and targeting Indian posts which initiated fire in the Sialkot sector as intermittent fire continues.

The Foreign Office said that the violations took place in Pukhlian, Cahprar, Harpal, Charwah and Shakargarh sectors and identified the deceased as a woman, Kalsoom, and her three children — Mehwish, Safia and Hamza.

The Associated Press, quoting Indian officials, earlier reported that the firing began after an Indian paramilitary soldier was allegedly killed by a Pakistani sniper late Thursday. The Indian officials also claimed that two people were killed by Pakistani firing.

Meanwhile, Pakistan today summoned Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria over “unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces along the Line of Control.

The Foreign Office (FO) here said in a statement that the acting foreign secretary summoned the Indian envoy and “condemned” the firing incidents today in Pukhlian, Cahprar, Harpal, Charwah and Shakargarh sectors.

Pakistan informed the Indian envoy that the “unprovoked ceasefire violations had killed four members of a family” in village Khanoor while 10 other people were injured.

The FO claimed the firing by the Indian side was still going on.

Pakistan said the Indian envoy was informed that the “deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws”.

“The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” the FO said.

Pakistan also said that Indian forces along the LoC and the IB are continuously targeting civilian populated areas with heavy weapons.

It alleged that in 2018, Indian forces have carried out more than 1,050 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the border resulting in the deaths of 28 civilians, while injuring 117 others.

Pakistan urged India to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the international border.

It also urged India to permit the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per UN Security Council resolutions.

India maintains that the UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Shimla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control.

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