Two officers were among four Border Security Force (BSF) men were killed and three others were injured in firing by Pakistan Rangers along the international border in another ceasefire violation near the famous Chamliyal shrine in Ramgarh sub sector of Samba district late Tuesday night.
“It was not a Border Action Team (BAT) attack but cross-border firing. They first fired two mortars that landed on our party followed by firing. It happened around 9.45 pm on Tuesday night. We have retaliated and other action is in the pipeline,” said BSF Jammu frontier inspector general Ram Awtar.
He further said, “Four BSF men have made supreme sacrifices in the line of duty.”
The fallen BSF men were identified as Assistant Commandant Jitender Singh, Sub Inspector Rajneesh, Assistant Sub Inspector Ramniwas and Constable Hansraj. The injured have been evacuated to a hospital.
BSF officials said that Pak Rangers first attacked a patrol party with cross border firing in which few BSF men were injured and when a rescue team was sent to evacuate the injured men Pakistan fired mortars in lethal attack on the rescuers.
Every year on last Thursday of June, a three-day long fair is held at the shrine of Baba Dalip Singh Manhas, also called Baba Chamliyal on either side of the border.
Pakistan Rangers usually offer a chaddar and sweets on behalf of the people of Pakistan and BSF in turn gives them ‘Shakkar’ (holy soil) and sherbet from the shrine, which many believe, cures skin related ailments.
All the men who were killed in the Pakistani shelling belonged to 62 battalion of the BSF that manned the shrine.
The latest Pakistani attack comes barely a week after a sector commander level flag meeting at Octroi post in RS Pura sector of Jammu district where Brigadier Amjad Hussain of Chenab Rangers had promised to uphold the sanctity of November 2003 Indo-Pak ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit.
Prior to it the DGMO of Pakistan and called up his Indian counterpart to stop retaliatory firing by the BSF and restore peace in the volatile border.
With the death of the four BSF men, Pakistan Rangers have killed 19 people and injured 67 others besides displacing over a lakh people from the border areas of Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts since May 15.
“A rogue country like Pakistan will never mend its ways. We have to remain alert 24×7 on the borders,” said a BSF official.