Jammu : Four civilians and a BSF jawan were killed while 12 others were injured as the Pakistan Rangers rained mortars on villages and border outposts in Jammu on Friday, escalating border skirmishes a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistani troops targeted the areas along the International Border for the fourth day on the trot, triggering fear and panic among the border residents.
Inspector General of the BSF, Jammu Frontier, Ram Awtar said the situation was “tense” and that the paramilitary force was responding to Pakistan appropriately, causing them huge damage.
“The firing and shelling was expected as the harvesting season is over. We have taken suitable action,” the IG said.
He said that the BSF had struck back at Pakistani posts, avenging the death of Indian jawans.
Awtar said this can be seen from the coverage on Pakistani television channels.
The Pakistan Rangers lobbed mortars and opened fire at areas in the R S Pura, Bishnah and Arnia sectors of Jammu from 0100 hours, a senior BSF officer told PTI.
BSF troops guarding the borderline retaliated, he said.
The slain jawan was identified as 28-year-old Constable Sitaram Upadhyaya of the 192 Battalion. He was critically injured at the Jabowal border outpost around 0130 hours and died en route to GMC Hospital in Jammu.
Upadhyay hailed from Giridih in Jharkhand and joined the force in 2011. He is survived by a three-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter, officials said.
Pak will have to reciprocate: CM
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said that Pakistan will have to reciprocate India’s peace moves and contribute to the efforts for lasting peace in the region.
She also expressed her condolences to the family of victims of Pakistan shelling.
“Pakistan will have to reciprocate & contribute to efforts for lasting peace,” Mehbooba said in a tweet on Friday. She said everyone must realise that violence is zero sum game.
Mehbooba further said that continued firing on the border in Jammu is a cause of pain and worry.
“Sad that while our country took the lead in starting peace initiatives with cessation of operations during Ramzan, Pakistan has shown no respect whatsoever for this holy month,” she wrote in another tweet.
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