- Around two dozen cattle killed, more than 65 houses damaged
- Indian defence minister alleges Pakistan is provoking India
- BSF IG says with Pak ‘not responding to Indian telephonic calls’, BSF has been directed to respond to ‘Pakistani firing’ with ‘higher intensity’
Muhammad Sharif, a resident of Jarwal Sector was injured Sunday when Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) resorted to unprovoked firing on a Pakistan Rangers’ post near Sialkot Working Boundary, military sources said, adding that more than two dozen cattle were killed and more than 65 houses were also destroyed or badly damaged.
However, Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has alleged that the firing was in response to provocations from the Pakistani side.
According to senior officials of Chenab Rangers, Indian BSF shelled Sialkot border villages including Bajrah Garhi, Charwah, Jarwal, Kaseera, Anula, Nandpur , Rangpur Jattan, Sucheetgarh, Beeni, Merajkey , Khadraal, Meendarwal, Thathi Khurd, Thathi Kalan, Chaprar for about nine hours starting 9:15 pm on Saturday night. Pakistani soldiers responded to the attack in a befitting manner.
Per reports, a citizen, Sharif, was sleeping in his house when some heavy mortar shells fired by Indian BSF hit his house, damaging it badly and injuring him seriously. He was shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Sialkot in critical condition.
Indian shells also hit the electrical supply lines in Bajrah Garhi village due to which the supply of electricity was suspended for several hours. Five goats and two donkeys were also killed in the firing.
Senior officials of Chenab Rangers added that Indian BSF again targeted the civil population with light and heavy machine guns besides firing heavy mortar shells.
This is the 25th time in one month that Indian forces have violated Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire.
A day earlier, at least three Pakistanis including a woman were killed and 11 others were injured in Indian firing on Bajrah Garhi, Khadraal, Anula, Beeni, Sucheetgarh and Charwah villages along the WB
Previously, Pakistan had returned a BSF soldier as a good will gesture but a day later, authorities in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) had received the body of a villager killed by Indian troops along the LoC.
The incident comes days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Pakistan of waging a proxy war in Kashmir.
‘PAKISTAN PROVOKED US’:
Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley Sunday said India has responded “adequately” to the alleged “provocations” of Pakistan.
Separately, Indian media reported that Pakistani troops allegedly targeted at least 25 Border Security Force (BSF) posts in Jammu and Kashmir.
“There have been a series of provocations for the last few days. Our armed forces are there at the LoC and the BSF is there at the international border protecting both our territory and people,” Jaitley told reporters.
PICK UP THE PHONE OR WE’LL BOMB YOU:
According to the Indian media, with Pakistan allegedly not responding to the repeated telephone calls from India, Indian Border Security Force (BSF) personnel have been directed to respond to any incident of unprovoked firing from across the international border with a higher intensity.
BSF Inspector General in Jammu frontiers Rakesh Sharma said that during the DGMO level meeting between two countries in 2013, it was decided that whenever there is firing from one side, the sector level commander on the other side will call his counterpart to sort out the issue.
“Ever since Pakistani Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing on the Indian side since July 16, sector commanders on our side have called up their Pakistani counterparts at least 16 times. However, the latter have not responded even once,” he allegedly told the Indian press. “We are not going to tolerate any shelling on our civilians,” he said.
When asked about the steps being taken to defuse the situation, he said that BSF was prepared to attend any flag meeting whenever it is called by Pakistan, while adding that Pakistan had not responded to any calls by India in the past.