BSF officials said that the violation was apparently an attempt to help a group of militants cross over to the Indian side.
Srinagar: In the first ceasefire violation this year, the Pakistani border guards on Thursday targeted a Border Security Force (BSF) post along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district, officials said. No casualties were reported in the attack.
BSF officials said that the violation was apparently an attempt to help a group of militants cross over to the Indian side. Soon after the breach, an infiltration bid was foiled in the area.
Officials said a group of heavily-armed militants was seen approaching the IB from the other side, taking advantage of undulating ground and thick wild growth.
“Terrorists took refuge in a depression having dense wild growth,” a BSF spokesman said, adding that they resorted to heavy attack on BSF troops on duty by firing three under barrel grenades, followed by heavy firing from automatic weapons.
The spokesman said, “Our troops on duty swiftly organised and coordinated effective fire to suppress their fire and forced them to retreat.”
Earlier, officials in Jammu were quoted as saying that the Pakistan’s Chenab Rangers fired gunshots and tossed half a dozen grenades at the BSF post at Katao in Samba district at about 3.30 pm.
“The Pakistani act was unprovoked and a brazen violation of the November 2003 ceasefire agreement,” said one of the officials, adding that the BSF troopers retaliated quickly. The post named ‘Bobiyan’ has been targeted from across the IB a number of times in the past too, officials said.
Police sources in Jammu, however, said that it seems the attack against the BSF post was carried out by militants in their attempt to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir. “Whether the Pakistani Rangers provided them cover as has been the practice in such situations in the past or not is not yet clear,” a police officer said.
The last ceasefire violation by the Pakistani troops along the 198-km stretch of the IB between India and Pakistan was reported on the intervening night of November 29-30 last year.
In J&K, the IB called “working boundary” by Islamabad starts at Paharpur in Kathua district and terminates at chicken’s neck corridor in south of Akhnoor sector where the LoC begins. The LoC again witnessed scores of skirmishes between the facing troops throughout 2016 resulting in a large number of casualties among the two Armies, the border guards and civilians on both sides.
In the last week of November 2016, the Indian Army launched a massive counter-offensive against Pakistan in different sectors along the LoC in “retribution” to the killing of three of its jawans by the neighbouring country’s commandos during an earlier incursion. With that the ceasefire violations stopped and the Army believed that its offensive, described by it as a direct message to Pakistan that mutilation of its soldiers is not acceptable and India’s response will be quick and massive, worked as a deterrent.
However, Pakistani authorities had blamed India of initiating each incident of cross-border firing and shelling both along the IB and the LoC. The borders had witnessed a flare up after the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes against the militant launchpads across the LoC on September 29.