Four Border Security Force personnel were killed and three others were injured after Pakistani troops allegedly violated ceasefire along the International Border in the Chamliyal sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, ANI reported. Two jawans, one assistant commandant and one sub-inspector were among those killed.
The deceased were identified as BSF Assistant Commandant Jitendra Singh, Sub Inspector Rajneesh Kumar, Additional Sub Inspector Ramniwas and Constable Hansraj Gurjar.
The firing began around 10.30 pm on Tuesday and continued till 4.30 am, PTI reported. It occurred ahead of an annual three-day fair held at the shrine of Baba Dalip Singh Manhas – also called Baba Chamliyal – which is located along the International Border, The Tribune reported. During the fair, Pakistan Rangers usually offer a “chaddar [sheet] and sweets to Indian security personnel on behalf of Pakistanis. In return, the Border Security Force gifts them “shakkar [holy soil]” and sherbet from the shrine. Devotees believe the soil and sherbet have healing properties.
The slain personnel were attached to the 62 battalion, which monitors the shrine, Hindustan Times reported.
Earlier this month, the BSF and the Pakistan Rangers agreed to ensure peace by “holding fire” along the International Border. Their meeting came within weeks of talks between the director generals of military operations of the two countries. The two military commanders agreed to implement measures to ensure peace along the Line of Control and the working boundary. They decide to implement the ceasefire understanding of 2003 “in letter and spirit”, and ensure that the agreement is not violated.
Scores of civilians and security force personnel have been killed in the state in alleged cross-border firing by Pakistan since January. On June 3, two BSF troopers were killed in the Pragwal area of Akhnoor sector. At least 13 civilians sustained injuries on May 22 after Pakistani troops reportedly initiated firing and shelling along the International Border in Jammu. The following day, the Ministry of External Affairs summoned Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah to lodge a protest over the death of a seven-month-old baby in alleged cross-border firing by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control in Sherpalai.