JAMMU, May 20: After suffering heavy losses in retaliatory shelling and firing by the Border Security Force, Pakistani Rangers today called up BSF formations and pleaded for ceasefire on the International Border (IB), which was active for the past about one week in which two jawans and four civilians were killed on the Indian side.
However late tonight, Pakistan violated ceasefire at Narayanpur and Baba Chamliyal forward areas in Ramgarh sector of Samba district. Shelling and firing started at 10.10 pm and was retaliated effectively by the Indian side. No damages were reported on the Indian side when the reports last came in.
The BSF today released thermal-imagery footage showing destruction of Pakistani bunker on the International Border. All Rangers inside the bunker were reported dead. Normally, there are two Rangers in one bunker in the forward areas.
The image showed the BSF hitting the target accurately and the Pakistani bunker going up in the flames. Within minutes, it was reduced to ashes. There were no chances of survival of anyone present inside the bunker and all the Rangers (in the bunker) were believed dead.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the befitting reply given by BSF units to unprovoked shelling and firing by the Pakistani Rangers on the International Border, has forced them to plead for ceasefire.
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“Today, the Rangers called up the BSF formations and beseeched to stop firing,” sources said, adding that during last three days, the precision fire of the BSF troops on Pakistan firing locations inflicted heavy losses to them.
They said yesterday the firing from BSF troopers found their mark with one of the Rangers in neck area.
Sources said the Pakistani Rangers had suffered heavy losses, both in terms of men and strategic assets in their Sialkot sector opposite Arnia and RS Pura sectors of Jammu. The posts and bunkers of the Rangers were destroyed in the forward areas, which was necessitated as all these posts were targeting civilian areas on the Indian side inflicting casualties and damage to the property.
Two BSF jawans and four civilians including a couple were killed in Pakistan shelling and firing in RS Pura and Arnia sectors from Wednesday to Friday while 17 others were injured. Pakistan had also suffered heavy casualties and infrastructural damage in retaliation by the BSF.
Sources, however, said that it was damage caused to strategic assets of Pakistani Rangers, which prompted them to plead for ceasefire with the BSF on the International Border. Though the Rangers have earlier also called for ceasefire, this is for the first time when within two days of shelling and firing, they urged the BSF for halting the guns to prevent more damages on their side.
Meanwhile, the International Border in all three districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua remained calm today after three-four days of intense activity during which the BSF foiled three major infiltration attempts by the militants, which were aided and abetted by the Pakistani Rangers while there were reports that one of the intrusion bids might have been successful through a cross-border tunnel.
However, the BSF conducted anti-tunnel exercise along the International Border in Hiranagar but couldn’t detect the tunnel so far. The infiltrators, if any, also remained untraced as they were not spotted by any security agency or the civilians later.
Security agencies have reports that a number of militants were camping at the launching pads on Pakistan side of the International Border and they could try to infiltrate under the cover of ceasefire violations by the Rangers. In view of this, the BSF was already maintaining very high alert along the border right from Lakhanpur to Akhnoor to thwart the intrusion bids.
Sources said the BSF might accept the ceasefire plea of the Rangers but would retaliate very effectively if Pakistan again violated ceasefire or tried to push infiltrators into the Indian territory from the International Border.
Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a spurt in Pakistani shelling and firing along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) this year.
Over 700 incidents of fire and shelling were reported, which left 38 people including 18 security personnel dead and scores injured.
Meanwhile, Pakistan army violated ceasefire on the LoC in Lam and Janghar areas of Nowshera sector in Rajouri district this evening by resorting to few mortar shelling and firing with automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
Though there was no official confirmation, an Army jawan was reportedly injured in the shelling.
The Army retaliated effectively to silence the Pakistani guns.