JAMMU, Jan 15: Pakistan army and Rangers today resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violations with firing, shelling and sniping along Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in which a BSF officer was martyred and two soldiers were injured.
This was for the first time this year that the Pakistani Rangers resorted to sniper firing on the BSF in which an officer was martyred as, hitherto, such incidents were confined to Line of Control (LoC) in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and had become regular affair during all 15 days of the year.
Apart from Hiranagar sector on the IB in Kathua district, Pakistani troops resorted to ceasefire violations in Balakote and Mankote sectors on the LoC in Poonch district and Nowshera and Sunderbani in Rajouri district during the day today.
Official sources said the BSF troops were carrying out border domination along the IB in Pansar area of Hiranagar sector in Kathua district when snipers of Pakistan Rangers opened fire on them at around 1050 hours.
Assistant Commandant Vinay Prasad was critically injured in the sniper fire and the officer was evacuated to the Military Hospital at Satwari (Jammu), where he succumbed to his injuries and attained martyrdom.
The BSF Director General and all ranks of the force salute the supreme sacrifice of the martyr. The BSF stands with the family of the bereaved, a BSF officer said.
In another incident, Pakistan troops also resorted to firing and shelling along the LoC in Sunderbani sector.
“Pakistan army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violations by resorting to firing and shelling along with heavy caliber weapons in Sunderbani sector early in the morning and once again in the evening in which two Army soldiers were injured,” sources said.
Indian Army troops guarding the borderline retaliated effectively and strongly. The exchange of fire continued for some time.
Two Army soldiers, who were injured in the firing, have been identified as Anirban Chatterjee and Akash. They were evacuated from the site of firing and airlifted to the Command Hospital in Udhampur.
Pakistani troops also resorted to mortar shelling and firing in Nowshera, Balakote and Mankote on the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts. Indian side retaliated at all the places, leading to heavy exchanges, which lasted quite some time.
There were reports of Pakistan side suffering heavy losses in retaliatory firing by the Indian side. Unconfirmed reports said that two Pakistan army jawans were killed in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops.
Sources said the Pakistani troops also targeted civilian areas during the ceasefire violations.
The year 2018 has witnessed the highest number of 2,936 ceasefire violations by Pakistan troops in the last 15 years along the Indo-Pak border.
On Sunday, an Army jawan was injured in ceasefire violation along the LoC in Rajouri’s Keri sector.
On Friday, an Army porter was killed in a ceasefire violation in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district. On the same day, a Major and a soldier were martyred in an IED blast along the LoC in Laam sub-sector of Rajouri.
Despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the 2003 ceasefire understanding for maintaining peace and tranquility at Indo-Pak flag meetings, the truce has been repeatedly violated by Pakistani troops, sources said.