Pak army takes control of forward posts as Rangers flee after BSF retaliation

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 24: As the Rangers were unable to face the BSF onslaught along the International Border and had to desert some of the forward posts, Pakistan army has taken control of few posts of Pakistani Rangers in three Sectors of Chappar, Harpal and Charwa in Sialkot district while as two Army jawans were injured when a mortar shell exploded close to their post in Balakote sector of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district in wee hours of this morning.
“There have been confirmed inputs with the Intelligence agencies that after Pakistan suffered heavy losses, both in terms of casualties and infrastructure on the International Border at the hands of BSF, Pakistan Government seems to have directed their army to take control of some of the forward posts, which had been deserted by the Rangers in view of intense retaliatory shelling and firing by India,” sources told the Excelsior.
Asserting that Pakistan has been completely baffled by heavy retaliation this time by the BSF in which nearly 20 Pakistanis including seven Rangers have been eliminated so far, sources said the Rangers had deserted number of forward posts at Chappar, Harpal and Charwa sector opposite Ramgarh, Arnia and RS Pura during past three to four days prompting Pakistan army to take control of the posts.
Nearly, 50,000 villagers in forward areas of Pakistan have already deserted their houses on the International Border and taken shelter in safer areas, sources pointed out.
After suffering heavy losses, Pakistan is reported to have requested the BSF for flag meeting.
Sources said the BSF was ready to meet with any eventuality on the International Border. It has already given very effective response to Pakistan, during past 10 days of shelling in which apart from casualties suffered by the Rangers, both fatal and non-fatal, a number of posts and bunkers of the Rangers in forward areas have also been decimated.
Meanwhile, even as there was no major ceasefire violation along the International Border in all three shelling affected Sectors of Ramgarh in Samba district and Arnia and RS Pura in Jammu district last night, the migration from border areas continued unabated with around 5,000 more people leaving their homes for safer areas, taking total number of migrants to about 25,000. However, very few people have taken shelter in the Government designated migrant camps while majority of people left for the houses of their relatives and friends.
However, most of the people visit their houses during the day to feed cattle and again return to safer areas in the evening. Many people, who have constructed bunkers in their houses or have concrete heavy boundary walls, continued to stay put in their houses, braving shelling and firing.
Besides Ramgarh, Arnia and RS Pura sectors, panic has also gripped the border dwellers of Hiranagar and Samba sectors as they feared that frustrated Pakistan could also target their villages anytime. Number of people from forward villages of Hiranagar sector have also shifted to the safer areas.
Authorities in all border villages have already enforced Contingency Plan for the border areas by designating number of Government buildings, religious and social organizations’ complexes as relief camps for the border migrants including the areas, which haven’t been affected by the shelling.
Meanwhile, Pakistani troops fired mortars in violation of ceasefire along Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote sector of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district at about 3 am today. One of the mortar shells exploded close to a forward post of the Army, causing injuries to two soldiers.
Troops evacuated the injured and shifted them to Government Hospital, Rajouri.
They have been identified as Havaldar Saigan Rai and Vijay Rai. They were responding to the treatment.
Troops retaliated to silence the Pakistani guns. Exchange of shelling and firing lasted few minutes only, sources said, adding that guns fell silent after effective retaliation given by the Indian side.
Incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops have increased sharply this year.
There have been 350 such violations by the Pakistan army, while in 2016, the number was significantly less at 228 for the entire year, according to figures by the Indian Army.