Amid the recent escalation in ceasefire violations, the Border Security Force (BSF) claimed on Sunday that Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were also involved.
“Our trans-border sources have confirmed that two of the three persons killed in Sialkot in retaliatory fire by the BSF were LeT cadres. Everyday, there is an attempt to infiltrate from across the border,” said BSF DG D K Pathak.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up Pathak on Sunday and asked him to give a befitting reply.
According to sources, the death of LeT cadres was confirmed by phone intercepts. “In the phone call intercepted by the Army, a person is heard saying that at least two of their men attained shahadat (martyrdom),” said a senior official on condition of anonymity.
“We also have video footage of three-four armed men trying to infiltrate into our territory in the dead of the night earlier this week. We have no reason to doubt that they were not terrorist elements as any civilian would not be loitering in the border area with weapons,” said Pathak.
“The damage on Pakistan’s side is much more this time. There are other undesirous elements who are firing from Pakistan’s side. They never got it this badly from our side. If they are firing one mortar, we are firing 10. This is the kind of intensity with which we are replying. We have asked for a flag meeting several times, but they did not respond. Our men kept standing at the designated place with a white flag but nobody turned up,” said Pathak.
Pathak said the Pakistan Army was also helping the Rangers. “The kind of mortars fired at us are generally in the possession of the Pakistani Army. The Rangers do not have this kind of capacity,” he said.
“We will not tolerate shelling on our civilian population… We have asked our troops to deal with the attacks with more intensity… We have also received orders from senior levels in this regard,” said BSF IG in Jammu, Rakesh Sharma.
“Ever since, Pakistani Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing on July 16, our sector commander has made at least 16 phone calls to his Pakistani counterpart, but the latter did not respond even once,” claimed Sharma. The BSF officials also handed over protest notes to their Pakistani counterparts after every incident of ceasefire violation.
Meanwhile, as Pakistan targeted R S Pura and Arnia sectors in the early hours of Sunday, a woman, identified as Veero Devi of Suchetgarh, died of a heart attack.
According to the BSF, at around 10 pm on Saturday, there was unprovoked firing on 25 BSF border outposts in R S Pura, Jammu and Akhnoor areas. “In retaliation, all the BSF outposts gave a befitting and strong reply to the Pakistan Rangers, thereby forcing them to stop the firing,” said a BSF statement.