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BSF soldier, girl killed in Pak shelling

Statesman News Service | Jammu |

A Border Security Force jawan and a 16-year-old girl were killed in shelling at Indian posts and villages along the international border in Jammu district’s Arnia sector, provoking BSF Director General KK Sharma on Thursday to order his troops to retaliate with “full force and teach a lesson to the Pakistan Rangers”.

The BSF DG flew in here to take stock of the situation and lay a wreath on the body of A Suresh of the 78 Battalion who belonged to Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu. Another BSF jawan, Dubraj Murmur, suffered a bullet injury on his left hand.

The killed girl was identified as Neelam Devi. She had come to her uncle’s home in Pindi village near Arnia. Three other civilians were injured.

Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked shelling at 9 p.m. on Wednesday and the exchange of fire was continuing well into Thursday.

Reports said the BSF in retaliation targeted positions of Pakistan Rangers in the Kundanpur and Chaprar villages of Sialkot sector.

Reports from across the IB indicated that two soldiers of the Pakistan Rangers and six others, including two women, were killed in the Chaprar sector in BSF firing. Two dead soldiers of the Rangers were seen being carried away in an ambulance, sources said. Pakistan has confirmed the killing of two women.

In Islamabad, Pakistan on Thursday summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh over the alleged “unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian troops across the Line of Control which resulted in the death of two women, PTI reported.

Director General (South Asia and SAARC) Mohammad Faisal alleged that the Indian forces fired across the Working Boundary on Thursday in Sialkot sector, killing two women ~ 45-year-old Perveen Bibi and 20-year-old Ayesha ~ and injuring five civilians.

On Thursday, Pakistan Rangers were continuing to target Vikram, Sai, Trewa, Nikowal and Arnia villages. Some areas of the Samba district were also being targeted.
After the wreath ceremony, the BSF DG told media persons, “We can describe the situation on the IB as tense. Earlier, there had been firing along the Line of Control (LoC) and now they have started firing along the international border as well,” Sharma said.

“The martyrdom of A Suresh will not go waste,” he said. Terming his death as “unfortunate”, Sharma said the BSF constable was struck by a bullet which appeared to have passed through a small gap in his bunker.
In such war-like situation, one could describe it as an occupational hazard, he said.

“To avoid casualties due to sniper fire, we have provisions for bulletproof helmets and jackets for the troops, but even then many parts of the body remain exposed,” Sharma added.