Pakistan forces target Indian civilians deliberately: BSF
Pakistani border guarding force, with active connivance of its Army, have resorted to heavy mortal shelling deliberately towards Indian civilian areas along the International Border, Inspector General of BSF D K Upadhyay said on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference, Upadhyay said Pakistan Army is giving full support to Pakistan Rangers, which have violated ceasefire “countless” times in recent past.
“Pakistani forces are firing heavy mortars deliberately towards Indian civilian areas. BSF never fires towards any Pakistani civilian area. We fire only towards military bunkers from where Pakistani forces fire. We have inflicted heavy damage on 14 Pakistani bunkers,” he said.
Upadhyay said if there was any civilian casualty in the Pakistani side, it was because the civilian population live very close to the military bunkers that might have resulted in “collateral” damage.
The senior officer of the Border Security Force also showed images of BSF’s firing which targeted only military bunkers in Pakistan. In an escalation on the tension along border, eight people, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 injured on Tuesday as Pakistani troops targeted civilian areas in Jammu region inviting strong retaliation by Indian forces who killed two Pakistani soldiers and destroyed their 14 posts.
In view of increased shelling and firing by Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered closure of all the 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC).
With cross-border firing escalating, Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation at a meeting in Delhi which was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and other top officials.
Govt doing everything to counter Pak fire: Rajnath
With tension along the Indo-Pak border escalating, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said the NDA government will do everything possible to counter the shelling and do the needful to protect the honour of the country.
“We will do whatever necessary action should be taken to protect the honour and prestige of the country,” he told reporters when asked about the continuous shelling from across the border in Jammu region.
Asked about the strategy to counter the Pakistani shelling towards civilian areas, Singh said he has already spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti about the safety of people living along the border.
“Strategy is strategy. It cannot be disclosed,” he said.
Asked how India was retaliating to Pakistani firing, the Home Minister said “ask the neighbour”.
On the possibility of revival of hotline between Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers to de-escalate tension along the border, Singh said “Let them (Pakistan) be prepared first for that”.
A total of 18 people, including 12 civilians, have been killed and more than 80 suffered injuries in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu since Indian Army carried out surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on September 27.
BSF had on Tuesday said that 14 Pakistani Posts were destroyed in retaliatory action by its troops along International Border (IB) in Ramgarh and Arnia sectors of Jammu frontier.
In view of the relentless shelling, the Jammu and Kashmir government has closed over 400 schools along the IB and LoC in the state.