Millennium Post

BSF jawan, 6-year-old boy killed in Pak firing in J&K

A six-year-old boy along with a BSF jawan was killed and nine others were critically injured on Monday as Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire, resorting to heavy shelling and firing from automatic weapons in several sectors along the International Border in Jammu district.

The boy was killed as Pakistani forces resorted to unprovoked firing in a “complete bizarre manner” towards civilian areas at Laliyal village in R S Pura, official sources said.

Nine others were injured in the overnight firing of whom condition of a woman was stated to be critical. “Pakistan Rangers opened indiscriminate firing and mortar shelling on forward BoPs and civilian areas in several sub sectors along International Border (IB) in Jammu district overnight,” a senior BSF officer said.

There has been firing of small and automatic weapons and shelling of mortar bombs on over 25 border out posts (BoPs) and civilian areas in R S Pura, Arnia, Suchetgarh, Kanachak, Pargwal sub sectors of Jammu district since last night and it is still on, the officer said.

“In the firing and shelling, one BSF Jawan was martyred and another injured,” officer said, adding that the BSF troops guarding IB were giving a befitting reply.

The deceased jawan has been identified as Constable Susheel Kumar.

There have been over 40 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops since India carried out surgical strikes in PoK after the Uri terror attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed. 

BSF officers laid wreath at the mortal remains of the jawan Susheel Kumar, who was from Karukshetra in Haryana.

The jawan was hit with a splinter in his neck at a post in R S Pura and was shifted to GMC hospital, where doctors declared him dead, the senior BSF officer said. While, six-year-old boy Vicky Kumar died due to splinter injuries of a mortar shell in Lalyal-Garkhal belt of IB. The child from a labourer family from Bihar has spent the night in bunker and as soon as he came out to play, the splinter hit him.

Jammu Deputy Commissioner Simrandeep Singh said that 30 cattle were also dead and 130 others were injured in the firing and shelling in various border hamlets in the district.

Earlier, 26-year-old BSF jawan Gurnam Singh, who was injured in a sniping attack from across the border on Friday, had succumbed to his injuries late Saturday night.

The Police and Civil authorities are assessing losses on account of the damage caused to the property in various villages along the IB in Jammu district, Deputy Commissioner added. There is huge damage caused to the houses and other properties in the border hamlets, an official said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Army claimed that two people, including a minor girl, were killed in “unprovoked firing” by Indian troops.

Pakistan Army, in a statement, alleged that the Indian soldiers resorted to firing and shelling in Harpal, Pukhlian and Charwah sectors on the working boundary.

Due to India’s “unprovoked firing” at the working boundary last night a civilian of village Janglora and a one and a half-years old girl were killed while seven civilians were injured, it said.

Pak trying to create ‘flash point’: BSF 
Amid a spurt in armed exchanges on the border, BSF chief K K Sharma on Monday said Pakistani forces are deliberately trying to "create a flash point" to facilitate infiltration of militants into India and asserted that these designs will be foiled.

He insisted that BSF never initiates ceasefire violations nor does it target civilian areas, a comment that assumes significance in the wake of Pakistan army's claim that two people, including a minor girl, were killed in firing by Indian troops.

"They (Pakistani forces) deliberately create such flash points with an aim of engineering infiltration," he told reporters here while commenting on the intensified cross- border shelling and firing by Pakistani troops.

"You can say that they (Pakistani troops) always try to create a flash point so that they get an excuse to go for action," Sharma added after laying wreath on mortal remains of BSF Head Constable Sushil Kumar who was killed in Pakistani shelling in R S Pura sector this morning.

The BSF Director General said while Pakistan may start the confrontation, "we are committed to give befitting reply and foiling their designs of infiltration.... We have to react so that we do not allow them to get successful in their designs to engineer infiltration from across the border." 

He said the morale of the troops is "very high and we are ready to meet any eventuality".

Asserting that BSF never initiates ceasefire violation, he said the Indian border guarding force only gives a "befitting reply" to the provocations by the Pakistani forces.

"I want to clarify that we have never initiated (any ceasefire violation). It is Pakistan which is doing it. As you know in case of (BSF constable) Gurnam Singh, they killed him in a sniper fire first. In reply to that we gave them befitting reply," Sharma said, referring to last week's incident in which BSF claimed to have killed 7 Pakistani Rangers and a terrorist in retaliatory fire.

"The way they are bombarding our areas, they are targeting civilians but as a policy, BSF does not target civilians at all," Sharma said.

"We only target the place from where the fire is coming.   We only target military and Pakistani Rangers establishments. We never intentionally target civilian areas," he added.

About Monday's incident, he said, "They initiated heavy shelling in R S Pura, we retaliated to that." 
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