Indo-Pak border heats up again: Indian media

JAMMU: In what could escalate the border tension between the two countries, two BSF men were reportedly injured when Pakistani troops opened fire at as many as seven Indian border outposts along the International Border in Jammu and Samba districts, Indian media alleged.

Police claimed the Pakistani rangers fired on border out posts and forward civilian areas along IB in R S Pura, Pargwal, Samba areas of Jammu and Samba districts.

They resorted to firing along IB in Kharkota, Kharkal, AMK, Mangral in R S Pura Subsector, Regal and Rajpora in Samba sector and Nikowal BoPs, police claimed, adding that Pakistanis have violated ceasefire five times in the past 24 hours.

In Nikowal BoP, two BSF constables Gangan Thakur and Hasda were injured and hospitalised, they claimed.

BSF troops guarding the borderline took positions and retaliated strongly resulting in exchanges, which are still going on in some areas in R S Pura sub-sector.

Meanwhile, in the backdrop of the increased border tension, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde will visit forward areas along the IB on October 22 to review the security situation.

The Indian side had claimed that Pakistan Army had pounded civilian areas along the LoC in Najwal-Pargwal belt of Jammu district, leaving five persons injured, including three children.

Home Minister Shinde would visit IB in RS Pura, Hiranagar in Samba during his day long visit to Jammu besides holding a high level meeting in the winter capital Jammu to review security situation amid heightened tension on the LoC and IB between the Indian and Pakistani troops.

Sources said the two BSF men, who were injured, were guarding Nikowal Border out Post (BoP) in Arnia last night around 11:45 PM.

“They were guarding the border outpost when Pak Rangers all of sudden without any provocation opened fire on Indian posts in which two BSF jawans sustained injuries,” they alleged.

The injured were evacuated from the post BoP and were shifted to the hospital. The condition of Gagan Thakur was stated to be critical and he was shifted to GMC hospital Jammu for specialized treatment.

Sources claimed Pak Rangers targeted Khatmariaya, Abdulliana, Kharkola, and Sangral Indian posts prompting BSF to retaliate.

“They used heavy machine guns and mortars,” sources claimed, adding that the villagers were panicked as firing continued though outnight.

In Hiranagar (Samba district), media reports say, Pak Rangers also opened fire and targeted Regal, a border post in Ramgarh Sector. “Both sides exchanged heavy fire throughout night.”

The local residents said the government should make arrangements for their temporary shelter in the safer places.

“We were warned by BSF and Army not to come out of the houses. We were asked to keep lights off during night,” Mohinder Singh, a resident said.

Singh, who was worried about the safety of his family, said they could not move out freely due to fear of losing life in heavy firing.

“One can hear the sound of shelling from 10 kms. They (Pak Rangers) are using mortars and other heavy weapons and it has become difficult to live in the villages along IB in this situation,” he said.

Meanwhile, security agencies have increased vigil along the border villages and the Village Defense Committees (VDC) have been activated to ensure patrolling of their respective villages apprehending infiltration bids from the other side.

“Police is checking all the vehicles coming from the border villages towards the city and other sensitive areas on various nakas,” sources said. NNI