Two BSF personnel were killed and 11 civilians, including two women, injured on Sunday as Pakistani Rangers resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and firing of small arms along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pargwal and Kanachak areas.
The dead have been identified as ASI Satya Narayan Yadav of Baspar village in Deoria district of Uttar Pradesh and constable Vijay Kumar Pandey of Shalehpur village in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
The unprovoked firing came five days after armies of India and Pakistan agreed to maintain the 2003 ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit. Director Generals, Military Operations, (DGMOs) of both countries had agreed to undertake measures to improve the situation along the borders, to exercise restraint in case of any issue and to resolve the matter through hotline and flag meetings.
Sources said small arms fire from across the border started around 2.15 am, with Pakistani Rangers targeting BSF’s Zaman Bela border outpost, killing ASI Yadav and constable Pandey on the spot.
Thereafter, they started shelling civilian areas, the sources said. Soon, other places, including the adjoining Kanachak area, came under mortar shelling and small arms fire. The firing left six civilians, including a woman, injured. Five other civilians were injured in shelling in Paragwal area, sources said.
A police officer said Pakistani Rangers used long range mortars and a number of shells fell in Pargwal town, nearly 10 km away from the international border. The civilians were caught unaware as many of them had returned home only after the countries agreed to maintain ceasefire, he added.
A total of 42 people, including 21 security personnel, have been killed so far in cross- border firing and mortar shelling this year.