Jammu: Four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, including an assistant commandant-rank officer, were killed and three others injured in firing by Pakistan Rangers along the International Border in Samba district of Jammu & Kashmir, a senior BSF officer said on Wednesday.
The BSF said that it had honoured the ceasefire agreed at a recent sector commander-level meeting but Pakistan resorted to unprovoked firing.
Eleven BSF troops have been killed in cross-border firing incidents along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir till date in 2018, the highest casualty figure for the border force in a year in the past five years, the latest data revealed.
"Since the ceasefire was on...it is the time we use to strengthen our defences. A team was going with defence material, Pakistan violated the ceasefire and fire at them with flat trajectory weapon followed by mortar firing. That is how the causality has taken place," Additional Director General (ADG) of BSF Western Command, KN Chaubey, told reporters here on Wednesday.
Another team of the BSF led by Assistant commandant Jitender Singh rushed to evacuate them and a mortar fired from Pakistan's Asraf Post exploded close to them in Border Our Post (BoP) Chambiliyal, resulting in fatal causalities, they said.
The BSF ADG said that it was very unfortunate and "the ceasefire announcement made and agreed is to be honoured".
"We have honoured it and Pakistan has not honoured it. And what Pakistan does is Pakistan's business and how we respond to betrayal is our job," he said.
Asked whether the BSF will lodge a protest with Pakistan, he said, "Of course, it would." He asserted that it was premature to say about any involvement of Pakistan special force BAT in it.
"Pakistan Rangers initiated cross-border firing along the IB in Ramgarh sector last night. We have lost four of our personnel, including an assistant commandant-rank officer, while three of our personnel suffered injuries," Inspector General, BSF (Jammu Frontier) Ram Awtar said.
In a tweet, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid expressed condolences.
"In Ramgarh Jammu sector of IB, 4 BSF personnel were martyred including one Asstt Commandant & 5 injured due to firing from across. Our heart goes to those who lost their dear ones," he said.
In a statement, the BSF said, "Around 2140 hours Pak Rangers Post Asraf started unprovoked firing on BOP Chamliyal with flat and high trajectory weapons.
"Retaliating this unprovoked fire, Jitender Singh, Assistant Commandant, SI Rajneesh, ASI Ramniwas, Constable Hansraj attained martyrdom. Three other bordermen received severe injuries. Injured BSF personnel have been evacuated to hospital," the statement said.
Assistant Commandant BSF Jitendra Singh, who was born in 1984, joined BSF in 2011 and hails from Jaipur (Rajasthan). Sub Inspector Rajneesh Kumar, who was born in 1986 and joined BSF in 2012 hails from Etah in UP.