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Gujarat government extends a helping hand, takes 220 fishermen released from Pakistan in custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The officials of the fisheries department of Gujarat Government took custody of 220 fishermen who were handed over by Pakistan to Indian agency, late on Monday night, a senior official said. “These fishermen were released from the Landhi jail in Karachi on December 25 as a goodwill gesture and were handed over to the Border Security Force (BSF) at the Wagah Border on Monday,” Ashok Patel, superintendent of the fisheries department of the Gujarat government said. “The team (of fisheries department) has been camping in Amritsar to make arrangements for bringing these fishermen back to Gujarat,” he said.Talking from Amritsar, Ramesh Makwana, one of the released fisherman, who hails from Tad village in Una taluka of Gir Somnath district, said, “We never expected release of 439 fishermen by Pakistan at one go and it came as a surprise for all of us. Another batch of 219 fishermen will be released on January 5, 2017.” “The Edhi Foundation a Karachi based non government organisation made arrangements for bringing us to Lahore from Karachi by a special train,” said the released fisherman.He thanked Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani among others for taking up the issue for their release with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who in turn took up the matter with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.Makwana, while describing the harsh conditions in which they stayed in Pakistani jail, said, “They had to face lot of hardships as about 100 fishermen were kept in a single room in the prison and had to face mosquito menace.” He said they realised that they had entered into enemy territorial waters only after Pakistani Marine Security Agency (PMSA) nabbed them. “Most of us are sole bread earners of our family,” said Makwana.

Gujarat govt takes custody of 220 fishermen released by Pakistan

Vadodara: The officials of the fisheries department of Gujarat Government took custody of 220 fishermen who were handed over by Pakistan to Indian agency, late on Monday night, a senior official said.

“These fishermen were released from the Landhi jail in Karachi on 25 December as a goodwill gesture and were handed over to the Border Security Force (BSF) at the Wagah Border on Monday,” Ashok Patel, superintendent of the fisheries department of the Gujarat government told PTI.

“The team (of fisheries department) has been camping in Amritsar to make arrangements for bringing these fishermen back to Gujarat,” he said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Talking to PTI from Amritsar, Ramesh Makwana, one of the released fisherman, who hails from Tad village in Una taluka of Gir Somnath district, said, “We never expected release of 439 fishermen by Pakistan at one go and it came as a surprise for all of us. Another batch of 219 fishermen will be released on 5 January, 2017.”

“The Edhi Foundation a Karachi based non government organisation made arrangements for bringing us to Lahore from Karachi by a special train,” said the released fisherman.

He thanked Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani among others for taking up the issue for their release with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who in turn took up the matter with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

Makwana, while describing the harsh conditions in which they stayed in Pakistani jail, said, “They had to face lot of hardships as about 100 fishermen were kept in a single room in the prison and had to face mosquito menace.”

He said they realised that they had entered into enemy territorial waters only after Pakistani Marine Security Agency (PMSA) nabbed them. “Most of us are sole bread earners of our family,” said Makwana.

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 19:07 IST

J-K: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Balakote in Poonch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has violated ceasefire in in Balakote sector of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.Indian forces are responding to the firing.The violation comes just two days after BSF and Pakistan rangers had held a flag meeting since heavy ceasefire violation last month post surgical strike and both committed to maintain peace and tranquility along International Border (IB) in Jammu frontier.Last month, there were over 190 ceasefire violations by Pakistan troops along IB in Jammu frontier in which 13 people including 4 BSF personnel were killed and several injured.

437 ceasefire violations till November, 37 killed: Government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has violated ceasefire 437 times along the LoC and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir till November this year in which 37 people were killed and 179 suffered injuries, Lok Sabha was informed on Monday. Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said 27,449 people living along the border in Jammu and Kashmir were temporarily shifted to safer places due to ceasefire violations after the surgical strikes. Of them, around 6,000 people stayed in relief camps while the remaining stayed with their relatives. Of the total ceasefire violations, 216 incidents were reported along the Line of Control (LoC) and 221 incidents along the International Border till November this year, he said, adding that among the dead, 12 were civilians, eight were Army personnel and five were BSF personnel.There were 405 incidents of ceasefire violations along the LoC and International Border in 2015 in which 26 people were killed and 97 others were injured, he said. Ahir said majority of the people have since returned to their homes from relief camps and at present, about 220 families comprising around 700 persons are in relief camps.

Won’t leave India before Uphaar hearing, Ansal brothers assure SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Business barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal on Monday assured the Supreme Court that they won’t leave the country until the petitions filed by the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) would be heard.Earlier, the AVUT had approached the apex court seeking to restrain the two Ansal brothers from travelling abroad during the pendency of their present petition.The lawyer for Ansal brothers earlier gave a verbal undertaking that they won’t leave the country till the apex court decides the Uphaar Association’s petition in the matter. The apex court today decided to hear the victim’s application on Tuesday for imposing condition on the Ansal brothers.Earlier, the apex court assured the victims’ association of 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy that it would soon set up a bench to hear the pleas seeking review of its 2015 verdict, under which real estate barons were required to serve two years jail term if they failed to pay Rs. 30 crore each as fine in the matter.In 2015, an apex court bench headed by Justice AR Dave decided to hear in an open court the petitions filed by the CBI and AVUT seeking review of the 2015 verdict. Following the judgment, the Ansals had deposited the amount.As many as 59 people were killed at Uphaar Cinema due to asphyxiation and stampede after a fire broke out when an overheated generator exploded in the building’s basement during the screening of blockbuster ‘Border’ on June 13, 1997.

Will instal laser walls at Indo-Pak border to check infiltration: Kiren Rijiju

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government will instal laser walls and other technologically advanced systems at the India-Pakistan border to thwart any infiltration attempt from across the border, Union minister Kiren Rijiju said in Gurdaspur on Sunday. He said that the work in this regard will be completed in a year.The minister of state for home affairs paid tributes to Saheed Ram Parkash on his 25th martyrdom anniversary, organised at Qadian town in the district. The “laser walls” or fence are being monitored by Border Security Force (BSF) which guards the Indo-Pak IB in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat.A dozen “laser walls” have been already made operational along the Indo-Pak International Border in Punjab to plug the porous riverine and treacherous terrain and keep an effective vigil against intruders and terrorists exploiting the frontier areas to cross over.The decision to instal these laser walls was taken by BSF two years ago keeping in mind the vulnerability of the border in these areas as barbed wire fencing could not be installed in many infiltration prone areas due to treacherous terrain or marshy riverine topography.After the Pathankot terror attack in January, where it was suspected that terrorists crossed over from Pakistan by breaching the IB from Bamiyal area in Punjab, Union Home Ministry and BSF have sped up the deployment and activation of these walls along the long and winding border. Use of scientific technology and heightened vigil on riverine frontiers while guarding the Indo-Pak border were among the suggestions given by the Home Ministry-appointed committee which also flagged gaps and vulnerability in border fencing.The committee, headed by former Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, was set up following the terror attack on Pathankot air base and it submitted its report to Home Minister Rajnath Singh in August last. Of the 3,323 km long Indo-Pak border, 1,225 kms falls in Jammu and Kashmir (including Line of Control), 553 kms in Punjab, 1,037 kms in Rajasthan and 508 kms in Gujarat.

BSF foils intrusion bid in Gurdaspur, kills Pakistani intruder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSF has foiled a cross-border intrusion bid after it shot dead a Pakistani intruder at Border Out Post Dhindha in Gurdaspur sector of Punjab.”BSF troops of Border Out Post Dhindha Sector Gurdaspur observed suspicious movement of a Pakistani intruder who crossed the International Border and came inside the Indian territory. BSF troops challenged him to stop but the intruder continued with his aggressive posture. Hence, BSF troops opened fire in self-defence and killed him,” a BSF official said. This incident took place at around 8 pm Friday night. Due to the enhanced vigil of BSF troops, the attempt of anti-national elements has been thwarted,” the official said.Keeping in view the vulnerability of border due to ongoing cultivation or tilling season and heightened activities of smugglers, Inspector General, BSF (Punjab Frontier), Anil Paliwal has issued operational guidelines to all the sectors under Punjab Frontier for further strengthening the border domination to effectively check the menace of narcotics smuggling and activities of anti-national elements on Punjab border with Pakistan, he said.The official said directions were also issued to field commanders to maintain extra vigil on the border to thwart the attempts of smugglers and anti-national elements. He said tactical operations are being mounted to foil the attempts of smugglers and intruders during this foggy season.

32 ceasefire violations on LoC, 23 militant attacks foiled: BSF

Srinagar: The Border Security Force (BSF) said on Wednesday that it has foiled 23 attacks, including two BAT actions by Pakistan, along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kashmir Valley this year and is alert to deal with any untoward incident.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“BSF has foiled and faced 23 attacks of militants and Pakistan regulars on its posts and personnel along LoC in Kashmir this year. The guys (BSF jawans) have done well, they have been doing their jobs with utmost dedication. They have foiled many infiltration bids on the LoC and also foiled two BAT (Border Action Team) attempts and in one of the actions, three of our guys have been killed, but they foiled the action and killed one militant and recovered weapons,” Vikas Chandra, inspector general, BSF Kashmir Frontier, told reporters here.

The frontier chief of the border guarding force said security at various installations of BSF has beefed up in the wake of the Nagrota terror attack. “Security arrangements have been made. We are alert 24×7 to deal with any incident during these difficult times,” he said.

Chandra said the paramilitary force, along with the army, was “appropriately” responding to the ceasefire violations. “Ceasefire violations have been taking place and we have responded appropriately to them. There were 32 ceasefire violations in 2016 along the LoC on this side. We have lost some men and some others have been injured as well, but that is part of the life, part of duty,” he said.

Responding to a question on whether the ceasefire violations were just that or a cover for infiltration, the BSF officer said, “We can say it is combined. They are infiltration bids as well and we have foiled many such incidents.”

Asked whether the attack on the LoC by Pakistan and mutilation of bodies of soldiers was a BAT action, Chandra said, “Generally, BAT actions take place. It would have happened, that is why there has been such action.”

He said 14 BSF battalions were deployed in the Valley. “Over 14,000 personnel are deployed in the Valley, both on the LoC and in the hinterland. We are working with the army guarding the LoC. In the last one year, nine BSF officers have sacrificed their lives and 18 others have been injured while guarding the LoC and also while working in the hinterland,” he said.

On a question whether there was an increase in the militant attacks after India conducted surgical strikes, the BSF officer said, “I will not say it is an increase. It is a tactic they have been using earlier as well. On the LoC, we have to be careful and we are being careful. It is not that they have not been trying, they have been, but we have averted those on this side of the LoC.”

First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 22:52 IST

Army chief Suhag visits Nagrota; combing operation still on

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag on Wednesday visited the Nagrota-based 16 Corps headquarters and was briefed about yesterday’s terror attack in which seven officers and jawans were killed, even as combing operation to flush out any remaining militant continued.Three militants were killed by security forces personnel and combing operation to sanitise the area was nearing end. Gen Suhag arrived in Nagrota in the afternoon and was briefed by the top commanders on the terror attack at an army artillery unit. He was also briefed about the combing operations. He reviewed the security aspect post terror attack and paid tributes to those killed in the strike. “Combing operation resumed this morning at the camp. The area has to be cleared… Operation is on to see whether there is presence of any other militant in the area. We cannot take chances,” a senior army officer said.’Blinds’ (unexploded shells) were destroyed at the site of the terror attack by a bomb disposal team during the combing operation. Jammu was rocked by two terror attacks yesterday in which seven army personnel, including two Major-rank officers, were killed and eight other securitymen, including a BSF DIG, were injured, before six heavily-armed terrorists were eliminated in the separate fierce encounters. In one incident, a group of heavily-armed terrorists in police uniform stormed an army unit in Nagrota, about three kms from the Corps headquarters on the outskirts of Jammu city.Seven army personnel, including two officers, were killed in this attack before three terrorists were killed in an armed stand-off which also involved a hostage-like situation with 12 soldiers, two ladies and two children being held captive. All were rescued. Three terrorists were gunned down by BSF in Ramgarh area of Samba near the International Border after an encounter that lasted several hours and was followed by intense cross-border firing by Pakistani troops. Four security personnel, including BSF DIG, were injured in this incident.

Nagrota attack: Terrorists infiltrated through small tunnel near border, unexploded shells destroyed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Keeping in mind the recent terror attack on an Army base in Nagrota, Jammu and Kashmir, the Ministry of Home Ministry (MHA) on Wednesday deployed a five-member team to visit the Indo-Bangladesh border in Bangaon to inspect the security arrangements.A meeting was also conducted with the Border Security Force (BSF) troops deployed at the border, asking them to increase surveillance to halt any infiltration bids from across the border.Briefing the media here, BSF DG KK Sharma said that concerted efforts have been made to modernise the nation’s border fences.”A part of Bangladesh border is unfenced including water bodies so humanly not possible for me to put manpower in such areas. We are making efforts to fill the unfenced gaps using technology,” he said.Talking about the recent Samba encounter, Sharma informed that the terrorists has infiltrated through a small tunnel in border area, adding that as of now no technology exists with the BSF to detect tunnels.”Since surgical strikes, more than 15 Pakistan Rangers have been killed and more than 10 militants neutralised. Also many Pakistan border outposts have been destroyed. Post surgical strikes, we started an operation called ‘Operation Rustom’ as we anticipated that problems won’t be confined to LoC and will affect the IB too,” Sharma said.Meanwhile, blinds (unexploded shells) were destroyed today at the site of the deadly terror attack on an army base in Nagrota, Jammu and Kashmir, by a bomb disposal team during the combing operations that are still underway.Extensive combing operations resumed today morning in Nagrota, where terrorists attacked an army base in which seven defence personnel lost their lives.

Punjab jailbreak: Khalistani terrorist escapes, high alert in Northern states

Sun, 27 Nov 2016-11:27pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>High alert has been sounded in Northern states after a top Khalistani terrorist along with five others escaped from a Punjab jail, arousing suspicion that the militant might have pre-decided his hideouts. Central security agencies have told the governments of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi Police to remain on high alert as chief of Khalistan Liberation Front Harminder Mintoo could be hiding in their territory to escape from Punjab Police dragnet.Sources said Mintoo is unlikely to escape to Pakistan as there has been heightened security along the border in the last few months due to tension between India and Pakistan and continuing cross-border firing along International Border and Line of Control.Suspicion has arisen that the Khalistani terrorist might have been hiding in pre-decided locations as per the conspiracy hatched to free him from the high-security Nabha prison. In a sensational jailbreak, Mintoo along with five other prisoners escaped on Sunday after armed men in police uniform stormed the high-security Nabha prison in Punjab.

J-K: Two terrorists gunned down by Army in Bandipora, combing operation underway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two terrorists have been gunned down by the Indian army in Bandipora on Tuesday during a combing operation in the area.The Army and the police in a joint operation had cordoned off the area to smoke out the two terrorists who were holed up and had opened fire, thus engaging in a heavy gunbattle early in the morning. A combing operation is underway to ensure no untoward According to the Financial Express, the armed forces had received a tip-off about the presence of militants in the Hanjan area. The combing operation is still underway.Regions nearing the border in the state continue to remain tense. A civilian was injured on Monday as Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire twice in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir, while a BSF head constable injured in Sunday’s cross-border firing succumbed to injuries. The civilian identified as Abdul Aziz, 50, a resident of Basoni village in Mendhar Tehsil of Poonch, was injured when a mortar shell landed near his house, a police officer said.Meanwhile, head constable of BSF Rai Singh (40), who was injured along with three other BSF jawans in last night’s shelling from the Pakistani side along the line of control, succumbed to his injuries on Monday morning in Rajouri sector. Singh, a resident of Jhajjar district of Haryana, is survived by wife, three sons and mother, he said. Since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in PoK on September 29, there have been a staggering 286 incidents of firing and shelling along the LoC and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops, which have resulted in the death of 26 people, including 14 security personnel. With inputs from agencies.

Another BSF soldier killed on LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan army killed another Border Security Force (BSF) peronnel and injured three others when they resorted to heavy firing and shelling in three sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri and Poonch districts of the Pirpanjal valley in Jammu division on Sunday night.Fifteen soldiers have been killed by Pakistan army and Rangers on the LoC and International Border (IB) since Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on the terror launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on September 29.Around 12 civilians have also been killed and more than 50 others injured in Pakistani firing and shelling on the civilian areas along the twin borders across the restive Jammu and Kashmir.Pakistan army resorted to heavy firing and shelling in Rajouri sector on Sunday night using high calibre weapons, including 120 mm mortars. One of the shell landed near the Forward Defence Location (FDL) of the BSF injuring four soldiers. Head Constable Rai Singh later succumbed to his wounds.“Last night in ceasefire violation from Pakistan in Rajouri area of LoC, four BSF men were injured in shelling. Head Ct Rai Singh attained martyrdom,” tweeted BSF. Indian Army responded quickly to silence the Pakistani guns which were using heavy calibre weapons to target the Indian forward posts. “Heavy Pakistani firing in the Rajöuri Sector. Four soldiers were injured. Being responded and will be responded to appropriately”, tweeted Northern Command headquarters. On Monday morning Pakistan army shifted the gears and opened another front in Krishna Ghati and Naushera sectors of the twin districts. “Pakistan army initiatied cease fire violation from 8.30 am today morning on Indian army posts along the LoC in Krishna Ghati sector. The Indian army posts responded strongly,” said Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta, Defence Spokesman at Jammu.

Pakistan resorts to shelling, firing in 4 sectors along LoC; 2 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani troops on Monday resorted to shelling and firing on Indian posts in four sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu and Kashmir, in which two persons including a jawan were injured.”There have been unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistani Army in Sunderbani and Naushera sectors of Rajouri district and Pallanwala sector of Jammu district,” a defence spokesman said. Pakistani troops used 82mm mortar bombs and automatic weapons on Indian positions from 1440 hours in these sectors, he said. A 67-year-old resident, Mangat Ram, was injured in Pakistani shelling in Khour area in Pallanwala sector, Jammu Deputy Commissioner Simrandeep Singh said.Pakistani troops also resorted firing along LoC in Khadi area of Poonch district, according to reports. One jawan was injured in the firing in Poonch. The defence spokesman said the Indian troops gave “befitting reply” to Pakistani firing. The violations of the ceasefire came after a lull of a few days on the border. On November 12, an army jawan was killed in Pakistani firing in Keran sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.On November 10, another jawan, Satnam Singh, was killed in snipper shots from across the LoC in Machail sector of North Kashmir.On November 8, two army jawans were killed in firing and shelling along LoC in Naushera sector of Rajouri district. On November 6, two army jawans were killed and five others — two soldiers, a BSF officer and two women — were injured as Pakistani army opened fire in an attempt to facilitate two infiltration bids along the LoC in Krishna Ghati and Poonch sectors of Poonch district. The worst-ever Pakistani shelling targeting civil population took place on November 1 when eight persons, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 others injured along the IB and the LoC in five sectors of J&K, forcing Indian troops to give befitting reply by destroying 14 Pakistani posts and killing two of their troopers.The 2003 India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement has virtually become redundant with a whopping 286 incidents of firing and shelling along LoC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops that resulted in death of 26 people, including 14 security personnel, since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in PoK. There have been 186 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the over 190km International Border (IB) in Jammu frontier, while 104 violations of the agreement took place along the over 500km Line of Control (LoC).

Ceasefire agreement redundant: 286 violations by Pakistan post surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 2003 India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement has virtually become redundant with a whopping 286 incidents of firing and shelling along LoC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops that resulted in death of 26 people, including 14 security personnel, since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in PoK.There have been 186 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the over 190 km International Border (IB) in Jammu frontier, while 104 violations of the agreement took place along the over 500 km Line of Control (LoC). “There has been 182 ceasefire violation by Pak Rangers along IB targeting civilian areas and BoPs in Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts since the surgical strike on the intervening night September 28 and 29,” a senior BSF officer said on Sunday.They also resorted to firing of 120 mortar bombs and from automatic weapons very heavily in which civilians and security personnel were killed and a large number of people including women and children suffered injuries, he said, adding that a large number of cattle perished in the shelling and huge damage was caused to houses.
ALSO READ Pak shelling kills another soldier on LoC, toll reaches 14A large population was forced out of their homes, harvesting of paddy crops halted and marriage season was badly affected in the border areas due to heavy shelling and firing. The officer said there have been 85 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC in Jammu region falling under 16 Corps area and 19 ceasefire violations have been recorded along the LoC in Kashmir region falling under 15 Corps area.India and Pakistan entered into no-firing agreement along Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2003. On November 25, 2003, the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan agreed to observe a ceasefire along the International Border, Line of Control and Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir. The worst-ever Pakistani shelling targeting civil population took place on November 1 when eight persons, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 others injured along the IB and the LoC in five sectors of J&K, forcing Indian troops to give befitting reply by destroying 14 Pakistani posts and killing two of their troopers.A total of 26 people, including 12 civilians, were killed and more than 85 suffered injuries in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu. The state government had closed over 400 schools along the border in Jammu region in the wake of the ongoing heavy cross-border firing.On a visit to the state in the first week of November, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had asked the army personnel posted along the Line of Control to remain alert and give a befitting response to any “misadventure” from across the border. “While complimenting their valour and fortitude, which Parrikar said was the entire nation’s pride, he also impressed upon the soldiers to remain in a very high state of alert to give a befitting response to any misadventure from across,” an army officer said.There has been 583 ceasefire violations in 2014 and 405 in 2015. In 2014 and 2015, there were 153 and 152 such violations respectively on the LoC managed by the Army. The ceasefire violations on the International Border under the control of Border Security Force in 2014 and 2015 were 430 and 253 respectively.

Pak shelling kills another soldier on LoC, toll reaches 14

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan army killed another army soldier on Friday night when they resorted to heavy firing and shelling on the Indian forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir’s Keran sector.Now the toll of Indian soldiers killed by Pakistan army and rangers on the LoC and International Border (IB) has climbed to 14 since Indian army carried out the surgical strikes on the terror launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on September 29.Around 12 civilians have also been killed and more than 50 others injured in Pakistan firing and shelling on the civilian areas along the twin borders across the restive Jammu and Kashmir since September 29 surgical strikes.The latest provocation occurred on Friday night when Pakistan army resorted to heavy firing and shelling and one of the soldiers sustained splinter wounds after a shell exploded near his post. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. “Pakistan violated ceasefire in Keran sector last night. A soldier, who had sustained injuries, later succumbed,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman, Srinagar.Awami Ithaad Party (AIP) Chairman Sheikh Abdul Rasheed, who represents Langate constituency of the border district of Kupwara in the Legislative Assembly, lambasted the government for ignoring people living in Keran and adjoining areas along the LoC in north Kashmir. “The least the government could have done was to provide concrete bunkers to the people and shifted the families well in time,” said RasheedFigures reveal, since surgical strikes, Pakistan has carried out more than 110 ceasefire violations. Indian troops have foiled 61 Pakistan abetted infiltration bids both across LoC and IB since September 29. Around 405 incidents of cross border firing have taken place along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015 killing 16 civilians. Out of these, 253 took place along the International Border and 152 along the Line of Control.

Two more soldiers killed on LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan army killed two more Indian soldiers when they resorted to firing and shelling at two different places along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. In the last 24 hours, Indian army lost three soldiers in Pakistan firing and shelling on the LoC. On Tuesday, a soldier was killed in Naushera sector of LoC in Rajouri. The death toll of soldiers in Pakistani firing and shelling on LoC and International Border has now touched 13 since the Indian army carried out surgical strikes on the terror launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) on September 29.Around 12 civilians have also been killed and around 50 others injured in Pakistani firing and shelling on the civilian areas since surgical strikes. Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta, defence spokesman at Jammu, said Pakistan army initiated indiscriminate and unprovoked firing on Indian army posts along the LoC in Naushera sector on November 8. “In the ensuing unprovoked shelling, Non Commissioned Officer Naik Prem Singh was martyred. Naik Harindra Kumar Yadav sustained grievous injuries and was immediately rushed to the hospital. However, the brave heart succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. The army has responded appropriately to the unprovoked firing by the Pakistan army”, he said.Hailing from village Shahar, Tehsil Bayatu, district Barmer in Rajasthan, Naik Prem Singh, 26, is survived by his wife Raina. Hailing from Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, Naik Harindra Kumar Yadav 30 , is survived by his wife Gyanti and three young children. Pakistan army opened another front in Machil sector of LoC on Wednesday when they sniped at Indian army soldier killing him on the spot. “One soldier martyred in Pakistan sniping at Machhal Sector”, tweeted Northern Command of Indian army.Indian army launched a massive fire assault to target the Pakistani army posts. “In retaliation fire assault with heavy weapons being directed on many Pakistan posts”, said the Northern Command. Figures reveal since surgical strikes, Pakistan has carried out more than 105 ceasefire violations along the LoC and International Border.Indian troops have foiled 61 Pakistan abetted infiltration bids both on LoC and IB since September 29. Official figures reveal around 405 incidents of cross border firing have taken place along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015 killing 16 civilians.

Ceasefire violation: Jawan dies, 4 others injured in Pakistan shelling in Nowshera

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An army jawan who was injured in Pakistani shelling along the LoC in Nowshera sector of the district succumbed on Wednesday while four others were injured in overnight ceasefire violation. “An army jawan, injured in ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops, died late last night in the hospital,” a senior army official said. Four jawans were also injured in the shelling last evening.Yesterday, an army jawan was killed and two others were injured as Pakistani troops shelled Indian posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district following which three posts of Pakistani army were damaged in retaliatory action by the Army. In another case of ceasefire violation yesterday, Pakistani troops indulged in unprovoked firing in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district from around 1345 hours.There have been over 100 ceasefire violations on Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir after the surgical strike. The worst-ever Pakistani shelling took place on November 1 when 8 persons were killed and 24 others injured along the IB and the LoC in five sectors of the state, forcing Indian troops to give befitting reply by destroying 14 Pakistani posts and killing two of their troopers.The state government had closed over 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region in wake of the ongoing heavy cross-border firing.A total of 20 people, including 12 civilians, have been killed and more than 83 suffered injuries in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu.

J-K: Farmers risk lives to harvest basmati rice along IB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Harvesting the paddy crop particularly the aromatic Basmati rice cultivated near the International Border in RS Pura border belt amid relentless shelling by Pakistani Rangers has made farmers sitting ducks of the firing from across the border. Most areas in and around the RS Pura belt are extremely fertile and best suited for basmati cultivation.A total of 17,742 hectares having standing paddy crop has been affected due to the shelling and firing by the Pakistani Rangers. The paddy crop grown in the area is worth Rs 130 crore.”The basmati rice grown in Jammu and Kashmir is now under threat from Pakistan”, an official of the Agriculture department said, adding, farmers are anxious that “if there is no one to harvest, the crop will die in fortnight”.With the crop ripe, farmers have been risking their lives to harvest the paddy.54-year-old Sham Lal has rushed to his fields along with few family members to cut the paddy growing close to the International Border in R S Pura border belt of Jammu district. “We are helpless. We cannot afford to lose our crops. Our family is dependent on these crops. We are risking our lives to harvest these standing crops”, Lal said.Like Lal, several marginal farmers living along the borderline are working overtime to speedily complete harvesting of the crops. Bein Gallar Sarpanch Ram Paul, whose hamlet was shelled by Pakistani Rangers few days ago, says farmers in border areas are forced to risk their lives to harvest their ripe crops as they depend on them for livelihood. “In the absence of labourers and machines, they are reluctant to come with their families and undertake harvesting.The border farmers have taken it on themselves to harvest their standing crops and in the process have become sitting ducks for the Pak Rangers”, Paul said.However, like them the farmers owning big agriculture land are not so lucky as they await paddy cutting machines and labourers, who have fled the farmlands following Pakistani shelling and firing and are reluctant to return to commence farming in the border belt of Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts.

Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC in Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu: Pakistani troops on Monday fired mortar shells at Indian posts and civilian areas in Mendhar sector of Poonch district along the Line of Control (LoC), leading to retaliation from Indian security forces.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in Mendhar sector of Poonch district from 0915 hours,” defence spokesman said.

He said that they fired 120 mm mortars, 82 mm mortars and automatic weapons targeting Indian posts and civilian areas.

Troops guarding the border line gave a befitting reply resulting in exchange which was still going on when reports last came in.

On Sunday, two army jawans were killed and five others — two soldiers, a BSF officer and two women — were injured as Pakistani army opened fire in an attempt to facilitate two infiltration bids along the LoC in Krishna Ghati and Poonch sectors of Poonch district.

There have been over 100 ceasefire violations on Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir after the surgical strike.

The worst-ever Pakistani shelling targeting civil population took place on 1 November when eight persons, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 others injured along the IB and the LoC in five sectors of J&K, forcing Indian troops to give befitting reply by destroying 14 Pakistani posts and killing two of their troopers.

The state government had closed over 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region in wake of the ongoing heavy cross-border firing.

A total of 18 people, including 12 civilians, have been killed and more than 83 injured in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu.

J-K: Ceasefire violation by Pak in KG Sector in Poonch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A ceasefire violation in KG Sector took place in Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir. The firing started at 2.00 am on Sunday and is still on.Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire 99 times along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, targeting Indian posts and civilian areas, after the surgical strike by the army on PoK-based terrorist launching pads.The worst-ever Pakistani shelling targeting civil population took place on November 1 when eight persons, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 others injured along the IB and the LoC in five sectors of J&K, forcing Indian troops to give befitting reply by destroying 14 Pakistani posts and killing two of their troopers.The state government had closed over 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region in wake of the ongoing heavy cross-border firing.A total of 18 people, including 12 civilians, were killed and more than 83 suffered injuries in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu.

Pakistani forces target Indian civilians deliberately: BSF

Jammu: Pakistani border guarding force, with an active connivance of its Army, have resorted to heavy mortar RPT mortar shelling deliberately towards Indian civilian areas along the International Border, Inspector General of BSF DK Upadhyay said on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference, Upadhyay said Pakistan Army is giving full support to Pakistan Rangers, which have violated ceasefire “countless” times in recent past.

“Pakistani forces are firing heavy mortars deliberately towards Indian civilian areas. BSF never fires towards any Pakistani civilian area. We fire only towards military bunkers from where Pakistani forces fire. We have inflicted heavy damage on 14 Pakistani bunkers,” he said.

Upadhyay said if there was any civilian casualty on the Pakistani side, it was because the civilian population live very close to the military bunkers that might have resulted in “collateral” damage.

The senior officer of the Border Security Force also showed images of BSF’s firing which targeted only military bunkers in Pakistan.

In an escalation on the tension along the border, eight people, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 injured on Tuesday as Pakistani troops targeted civilian areas in Jammu region inviting strong retaliation by Indian forces who killed two Pakistani soldiers and destroyed their 14 posts.

In view of increased shelling and firing by Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered a closure of all the 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC).

With cross-border firing escalating, Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation at a meeting in Delhi which was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and other top officials.

Tension along the IB and LOC escalated since the surgical strikes by army targeting terror launch pads in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (PoK) on 29 September.

Cross-LoC trade, bus service cancelled in Kashmir after eight people killed in border firing

The fresh escalation along the Line of Control and working International Border has cast a shadow on intra-Kashmir trade with authorities suspending the cross-border trade after two days of intense shelling that has left eight people dead in Jammu and Kashmir.

Tuesday’s civilian deaths are the highest on a single day in the past 13 years, after soldiers from both sides traded fire at each other’s locations across the border in Jammu region. Both sides blamed each other for ceasefire violations as tensions grew in an increasingly hostile relationship between India and Pakistan.

The shelling and sporadic firing, which started in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, continued throughout the day, leaving more than two dozen people injured.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The trade between the two countries in Kashmir region has largely remained unaffected since 2008, when it was started after years of negotiations, but the rising tensions along the de-facto borders seems to have cast a shadow on its future prospects, as India and Pakistan accuse each other of violating a 2003 ceasefire that had brought much-needed respite for the residents living along the tense borders.

“The reasons are unknown but we hope to start the trade again, very soon,” the General Secretary of Salamabad Traders Union, Hilal Ahmad Turki, said.

Earlier on Monday, Karvan-e-Aman, a bus service between two part of Kashmir, was also suspended.

On Tuesday, eight civilians were killed, six in Ramgarh sector and two in Rajouri and at least 22 people were injured in the daylong firing. Thousands of people living along LoC and IB in Jammu have been asked to migrate to the plains.

“Residents of 55 villages have fled from in Ramgarh sector after the firing intensified on Tuesday. Most of these people have taken shelter in temples, schools, and Radha Soami Satsang Beas shelters in safer areas,” Ravinder Sharma, a journalist in Jammu, told Firstpost on phone.

Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Simrandeep Singh, told Firstpost that although the firing has been taking place for a week now, its intensity on Tuesday superseded the recent incidents.

He said the authorities have closed 175 government schools along the border and people have been asked to stay alerted in case of any eventuality.

“We have issued orders to close all the schools and we are planning to keep them closed for some time,” Singh said.

He added that his office, with the help of volunteers, is advising people to either move towards the plain areas or if they want to stay in their homes, they should use underground bunkers during the night.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti too expressed anguish and concern over the loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties in unabated border shelling.

Mufti made a fervent appeal for peace and political dialogue between India and Pakistan to de-escalate the perilously hostile situation prevailing in the region.

“I am deeply pained over the fresh spate of civilian killings, including children and women, in border shelling and urge the political leadership in New Delhi and Islamabad to take effective and urgent measures to de-escalate the situation and bring an end to the miseries of the hapless people of Jammu and Kashmir who are caught in the deadly crossfire,” Mufti said.

She added the unabated border shelling has led to a tragic humanitarian crisis in Jammu and Kashmir, where innocent civilians and their properties are being targeted.

“We in Jammu and Kashmir yearn for peace as we have been suffering immensely because of the hostility and violence in the region and know very well its dangers and perilous consequences,” she said and added that India and Pakistan must open the channels of communication, at the earliest, realising the dangerous consequences of any escalation of ongoing confrontation along the borders.

The Border Security Forces said they have destroyed 14 Pakistani posts in retaliatory action along IB in response to ceasefire violations by the Pakistani rangers.

“BSF gave a calibrated retaliation on IB in response to unprovoked firing and shelling of Pakistan Rangers in Ramgarh area and Arnia Sectors since morning,” DIG, Dharmendra Pareek, said. “Since morning, BSF targeted Pakistan Rangers’ posts across IB in the same sector and caused heavy damage to 14 Pakistani Posts,” he said.

Pak firing kills 8 civilians, injures 24 in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani forces have unleashed bloodbath on the borders in Jammu and Kashmir. Eight civilians, including two children, were killed and 24 others injured in Pakistani shelling on civilian areas and forward posts along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu division on Tuesday.Hundreds of civilians are trapped in villages as authorities are unable to evacuate them due to the heavy cross-border shelling. The Border Security Force (BSF) launched a calibrated retaliation and destroyed more than 14 Pakistani posts on the IB, opposite the Ramgarh and the Arnia sectors in the Jammu division.”They (Pakistan Rangers) are targeting civilians. What does that mean? Obviously they are frustrated. We are retaliating beyond their expectations. We are responding in those sectors where they fire on us”, said DK Upadhayay, Inspector-General of BSF, Jammu Frontier.Panic gripped the entire border belt in Jammu, prompting the government to close down schools. “Around 350 schools will remain closed,” said Pawan Kotwal, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu. According to Jammu Deputy Commissioner Sheetal Nanda, 45 border schools were closed down in the Samba sector. Poonch Deputy Commissioner Haroon Malik said that 84 border schools were closed in the Balakot zone in his district.The Ramgarh sector in Samba district was hit the worst by the Pakistani shelling, which started at 6.30 am on Tuesday. Pakistani Rangers targeted villages, using 82 mm and 120 mm mortars, leaving six people dead and injuring 10 others. The slain included seven-year-old Rishab and five-year-old Abhi.”Five died due to the shelling and one died of the shock. We are verifying whether the man who died of shock also lost his life because of shelling. Ramgarh was quiet for some days and people were reluctant to move out as their crops were ready and there were cattle as well. This shelling started all of sudden at 6.30 am and has been continuing since then,” Sheetal Nanda, District Development Commissioner, Samba, said.Later, the Pakistan Army took charge and resorted to heavy shelling on civilian areas and forward posts in the Rajouri sector, killing two women. “There are two casualties in the Manjokote area. The two women were in their homes when a shell hit them. Three others were injured,” Shabir Ahmad Bhat, District Development Commissioner, Rajouri, said.Police said three porters were injured when Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling in the Naushera area of Rajouri district. “One mortar shell landed very close to the Mendhar police station,” said Johnny Williams, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Rajouri-Poonch range.Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta, Defence Spokesman at Jammu, said that there was unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the Naushera sector since 5.30 am using 82 mm and 120 mm mortars, which is being befittingly and appropriately responded to.”Unprovoked ceasefire violation was carried out by by the Pakistan Army in the Balakote sector from 9 am using automatic weapons and 120 mm mortars,” he said.Expressing deep anguish over the loss of human lives, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti made a fervent appeal for dialogue between India and Pakistan. “The escalation of violence along the border and LoC should remind India and Pakistan about the inevitability of sitting across the table to find a peaceful, just and pragmatic solution to all contentious issues. World over, we see how wars have completely destroyed prosperous countries and annihilated cultures. It is the responsibility of the Indo-Pak political leadership to save the region from such a devastating scenario,” she said.

Jammu: Amid continuous Pak shelling, govt orders closure of 174 schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following the continuous shelling from Pakistan which has resulted in the loss of lives, the Government has ordered the shutting down of 174 schools along the International Border and Line of Control in Jammu region.84 schools have been closed in Balakot zone in Poonch and 45 schools in Samba district. Over 25 schools have been gutted in the Valley in the last three months since the unrest broke out after Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani’s killing by Indian security forces.Earlier today, the state’s High Court stepped in and asked the government to protect the schools in the Valley which are under attack. The High Court took “suo moto cognizance” or acted of its own accord to order the state government to take preventive measures. The court also directed the police and administration to ensure protection of schools besides unmasking those responsible.Meanwhile in the wake of the continuous ceasefire violations and firing from Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh called a high level meeting, in which Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and other senior MHA officials were present. The Border Security Force (BSF) today targeted around 14 Pakistan posts along the International Border (IB) in response to the unprovoked firing and shelling of Pakistan Rangers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramgarh and Arnia Sector since morning.

Pakistan shells border hamlets, posts in ceasefire violation; 4 civilians killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One woman was killed and four others were injured on Tuesday when Pakistani troops violated ceasefire by shelling border hamlets and posts with mortar bombs along the International Border (IB) and the LoC in Samba, Jammu and Rajouri districts. In Ramgarh, two boys were killed and 8 others were injured in the firing. In the last 24 hours, the death toll from the ceasefire violation has reached four.”Pakistani Rangers started firing with small arms followed by mortars at one place and further spread to four or five places in Ramgarh and Arnia sectors of Samba and Jammu district from 0630 hours,” DIG BSF (G) Dharmendra Pareek said. They fired 82 mm mortar bombs intermittently, Pareek said, adding, BSF gave them a befitting reply.A woman aged between 21 to 22 years died during shelling in a hamlet in Ramgarh sector of Samba district, SSP Samba Joginder Singh said. Six persons have been injured in the ceasefire violations since Monday.At 7:10 am, three mortar shells landed in the border village of Pindi in Arnia sector of Jammu district, injuring four persons identified as Bodraj (44), Niky, Dharana Devi and Chanchla Devi (49), he said.Two women, Robiya Kouser (28) and Tasveer Bi (24), were injured in Pakistani shelling in Mendhar sector of Poonch district on Monday evening and have been hospitalised, police said.Pakistani troops indulged in unprovoked ceasefire violation along the Line of Control in Naushera sector of Rajouri district from 5:30 am using small arms, automatics, 82 and 120 mm mortars, PRO Defence Lt Col Manish Mehta said.There have been more that 60 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the LoC and IB in the state since surgical strikes against terror launch pads by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. On Monday, an elderly woman and a soldier were killed and a girl and two armymen were injured in cross-LoC shelling and firing by Pakistani troops in Poonch and Rajouri districts.

Soldier, woman killed in fresh ceasefire violation on LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seemingly rattled by obliteration of their four tactically placed posts, Pakistani army has extended the shelling to Rajouri and Poonch sectors of the Line of Control (LoC), leaving a soldier and a woman dead, besides injuring another.”An army soldier has been martyred in Rajouri sector. Ceasefire violation by Pakistan army is being retaliated with massive fire assault,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesperson, Northern Command.Hailing from Dharan area of Nepal, the 20 year old Rifleman Bimal Tamang is survived by his mother, Nirmaya Tamang. “He was martyred in unproved ceasefire violation by Pakistan,” said Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta, defence spokesperson, Jammu.Pakistan army also resorted to heavy shelling, targeting civilian areas in Mendhar sector of Poonch district. A woman was killed and her daughter severely injured, when a shell fired by Pakistani army landed in their village at Golad in Mendhar, this afternoon.JS Johar, Senior Superintendent of Police, Poonch, told that, sporadic damages have been caused by the Pakistan shelling in the Galod village. “A lady was killed and her daughter injured in the shelling. There was sporadic damage to the houses and live stock in the area. However, there has been no migration so far,” he said.Pakistan army started a fresh round of ceasefire violations in Balakote sector at 9 am on Monday. They are using long range shells, including 82 mm, having range of 4.5 kilometers, and 120 mm mortars, which have a range of seven kilometers, to target deep into the civilian areas along the LoC.”There was an unprovoked ceasefire violation from 0900 hours in Balakote sector by Pakistan army using 120 mm mortars, 92 mm mortars, automatics and small arms. It is being responded appropriately and befittingly by our troops,” said Lieutenant Colonel Mehta.While Pakistan army inflicted casualties on the LoC, Pakistani rangers violated ceasefire on the International Border in Hiranagar sector on Sunday night. The firing met with a response from BSF, to silence their guns.Figures reveal that Pakistan has carried out 60 ceasefire violations across the LoC and IB since Indian army carried out surgical strikes on the terror launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.More than nine soldiers including four BSF men have been killed on the LoC and IB since the surgical strikes. Four civilians including two women have also been killed and 40 others injured in the Pakistan shelling on borders since September 29.Figures reveal Pakistani has carried out 57 ceasefire violations on the borders since the surgical strikes on September 29. Official figures reveal around 405 incidents of cross border firing have taken place along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015 killing 16 civilians. Of which 253 incidents of cross border firing have taken place along the International Border and 152 incidents along the Line of Control.

Ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Mendhar, Rajouri sectors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani troops violated ceasefire on Monday in Bala Kote village of Mendhar sector in Poonch district and in Rajouri sector, said the army. The army was retaliating strongly, ANI reported.On Sunday, Pakistani Rangers had pounded BSF posts and civilian areas using small arms and mortars shells in continuous ceasefire violations along the International Border (IB) in Samba, Kathua and Jammu districts, prompting BSF to retaliate. “Unprovoked” firings resumed along the International Border (IB) in RS Pura sector of Jammu district Sunday evening, after shelling stopped in the morning.There had been a calm on all the borders since 8am on Sunday after overnight firings along the IB in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts. Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire in Samba, Kathua and Jammu districts of Jammu region on Saturday night, a senior BSF officer said.On Friday, two civilians were killed and as many injured when Pakistan targeted civilian areas and forward India posts along the LoC and IB in Jammu, Kathua, Poonch and Rajouri districts, following which Indian troops retaliated and killed 15 Pakistani soldiers. BSF said as per the ammunition used in firing and shelling it appeared that Pakistani Army was supporting Pakistani rangers along IB.On October 25, at least 2-3 Pakistani army men were believed to have been killed in retaliatory firing by Indian troops in the Noushera sector of Rajouri district. Over 60 ceasefire violations have taken place since surgical strikes by Indian Army on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Heavy-artillery Diwali catches Pak napping

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After September 29, when the Indian Army took the Pakistan army by surprise through the surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), they went into the assault mode again on Saturday.The Indian Army decimated four outposts of the Pakistan army, along the Line of Control (LoC), opposite the Keran sector in north Kashmir. “Four Pakistani posts were destroyed in a massive fire assault in the Keran sector. Heavy casualties inflicted,” tweeted the Army’s Northern Command.Officers privy to the action describe the assault as a coup de maître as the Pakistan army was given no time to respond to the barrage of firepower using heavy-weapon systems. “These four posts were tactically placed and used to facilitate infiltration by the militants,” said an Army officer.Decimating the posts was not an action taken overnight or in a hurry, they said. But the decapitation of the soldier in the Machil sector on Friday proved to be the trigger and the action, which was in the planning stage, was fast-tracked. Earlier on Saturday, a BSF soldier and a woman were injured when the Pakistan army violated ceasefire in Keran sector.“It was a carefully-planned operation. From gathering information to keeping a close vigil on Pakistani posts and watch towers, preparing for the assault and using heavy-weapon systems, everything was carefully planned beforehand,” said an officer.Seven Pakistani posts were chosen for the assault and four were completely destroyed. Under a comprehensive plan, Indian Army troops in strategically located posts launched a multi-pronged offensive to pin down the posts.“Indian troops changed the projectile and trajectory of the mortars in a manner that they directly hit the posts. At the same time, troops opened fire with light, medium and heavy machine guns. It created confusion among the Pakistani troops,” said an officer.After pulverising the posts, the Indian Army used rocket launchers to pin down the posts on the ground. “Rockets were fired from different angles, so that the posts were brought down in quick succession. Later, flat-projectile weapon systems were used to ensure that the enemy suffers heavy casualty and none of the troops guarding the posts flee,” said an officer.The difference in the surgical strikes and the destruction of posts was that the Indian Army did not cross the LoC in the Keran sector on Saturday, while it went deep into PoK for the surgical strike on (September 29.)“On Saturday, we maintained an element of surprise. After beheading our soldier, Pakistan might have been preparing for surgical strikes from our side. But we carried out the action in such a manner that their posts were destroyed and inflicted huge casualties by using fire power without crossing the LoC,” said another officer.Figures reveal that Pakistanis have carried out 57 ceasefire violations on the borders since the surgical strike. Around 405 incidents of cross-border firing have taken place along the border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015, resulting in the death of 16 civilians. Of these, 253 incidents of cross-border firing have taken place along the International Border and 152 along the LoC.

Amidst tensions, Diwali celebrated with religious fervour across Jammu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Diwali, the festival of lights symbolising the victory of good over evil, was celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety across Jammu region on Sunday. People were seen exchanging greetings and sweets and bursting fire crackers. A huge rush of shoppers was also witnessed across the region with people purchasing sweets and gift items.Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place across the region in the wake of the heightened tensions on the International Border and the Line of Control and the increase in infiltration attempts from across the border. “Elaborate security arrangements have been kept in place across the region, especially on the routes connecting the border areas with the city, to thwart the nefarious designs of anti-national elements,” a police officer said.A large number of people also went to border areas to celebrate the festival with soldiers guarding the frontiers in the region. Reports of Diwali celebrations also poured in from other districts of the region. Sixteen scientists, including four women scientists, from the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) also visited a BSF camp in Paloura here and celebrated Diwali with the personnel.The scientists visited to show solidarity and convey their best wishes on the occasion of Diwali to troops, a BSF spokesman said.

Bittter Diwali: No exchange of sweets by Indo-Pak jawans in Attari border amidst heightened tension

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a departure from the past, BSF did not exchange sweets and greetings with Pakistani Rangers at Indo-Pak Attari/Wagah border on Diwali with the move coming in the wake of the heightened tension between the two countries. The exchange of sweets on Diwali did not happen, a BSF official, without elaborating further, said.Both BSF and the Pakistani Rangers have in the past followed the tradition of exchanging sweets and gifts on national festivals like Diwali and Eid, as well as on the occasion of the Independence day functions of the two neighbouring countries.However, during the past 2-3 years, the border guarding forces on either side have not exchanged sweets on few occasions. This year, the BSF’s decision comes in the backdrop of the heightened tension between the two nations with growing incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border, especially after the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads in PoK.

Narendra Modi on Mann ki Baat: Dedicate this Diwali to our jawans for their courage and sacrifice

Amid tension on the border with Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday saluted the valour of the armed forces and lauded their sacrifice while dedicating the festival of Diwali to them.

“From last few months our jawans (soldiers) are sacrificing their lives, we should celebrate this Diwali in their name,” Modi said while speaking on Mann Ki Baat, his monthly radio address.

Modi also applauded Indian soldiers for their undying love and sacrifice for the country and said that this Diwali dedicated to them.

“Every citizen of the country is proud of our soldiers,” he said.

He hailed the people, including celebrities for sending overwhelming messages to his “#Sandesh2Soldiers” campaign.

PM Modi celebrates Diwali with jawans in Sumdo, Himachal Pradesh. PTI

PM Modi celebrates Diwali with jawans in Sumdo, Himachal Pradesh. PTI

“People from walks of life sent messages of love and encouragement for our jawans (soldiers), just as they light candles for their well-being,’ he added.

“Our forces endure grave hardships for our security. Someone is stationed in a desert, someone on the Himalayas, someone is guarding our industrial installations and someone is protecting our airports. Everyone is fulfilling a mighty responsibility. If we remember them while being in a festive mood, our remembrance will give them strength and renewed energy. I thank everyone for responding to Sandesh2Soldiers,” Modi said in over half-an-hour address on the occasion of
Diwali.

Modi also urged all citizens and state governments to find ways of forging unity across the country and working to defeat separatist tendencies and mentalities.

In the wake of ongoing troubles in the Kashmir Valley, he said, “Unity in diversity is our strength. It is the responsibility of every citizen and all governments to forge unity and curb separatist tendencies to save the country.”

In an apparent reference to tension on the Indo-Pak border, Modi credited the soldiers for maintenance of peace and security in the country and called upon everyone to remember their gallantry while celebrating Diwali.

“In the wake of recent events, our soldiers have been sacrificing their everything for the safety and security of the country. Their dedication and labour has overwhelmed me completely. Let us dedicate this Diwali to our armed forces.

“I had invited everyone to participate in the Sandesh2Soldiers campaign and I have been humbled by the response. From students, villagers and traders to political leaders and sports persons , everyone has sent a Diwali message for our soldiers,” he said while referring to the jawans who are stationed in deserts and on the icy heights of the Himalayas and security personnel who are guarding our industries and airports.

Recognising the works of the Armed forces, Modi said, “Be it BSF (Border Security Force), CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), Assam Rifles, ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police), Navy, Air Force, our jawans are on duty and guarding us. That is why we are celebrating Diwali joyfully,” the Prime Minister said.

Modi also said that when we remember our soldiers on festivals we give a message that we are with them.

More than 10 lakh messages have arrived for soldiers from across the nation.

Modi also urged people to mark Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary and remembered the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

“Tomorrow we are celebrating Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary. He worked to bring everyone together, he worked for unity, fought for unity and brought unity amongst people and we all must remember it,” Modi said.

Modi also said, “History remembers how Sikh people and ‘sardars’ all over the country faced violence and pain” after 31 October when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated.

Remembering Sardar Patel’s contribution, Modi said: “He gave us a united India and to keep it united is our responsibility.”

“Sardar Patel has a rich contribution in strengthening the cooperative movement in India. He was always dedicated to farmer welfare,” Modi added.

Speaking on Guru Nanak’s teachings, Modi said they are the guiding principles not only for Indians but for the entire humanity. The PM recalled how Guru Nanak’s life and teachings hold a message for people even today.

“Kartik Purnima is celebrated as the Prakash Parv or birthday of Guru Nanak Devji. His teachings are the guiding principles not only for Indians but for the entire humanity.

“Principle of service, truthfulness and welfare of all are the core of his teachings,” he added.

“Peace, unity and tolerance is the basic principle. To free the society of discrimination, blind faith and other evils was the campaign of Guru Nanak’s life.

“At the time when casteism and untouchability were at its peak, Guru Nanak Dev chose Bhai Lalo as his companion,” Modi added.

Bhai Lalo was a carpenter by profession and Guru Nanak chose food from his house over food from a rich government official.

Drawing a parallel between Guru Nanak’s teachings and his government’s motto, Modi said: “Guru Nanak Dev’s teachings inspire us to shun discrimination of all kind. ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’ is the way forward and no one can be a better guide than Guru Nanak Dev.”

With inputs from agencies

4 Pakistan posts across LoC in Keran sector destroyed by Indian troops, heavy casualties inflicted: Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Army on Saturday said it has destroyed four Pakistani posts in a massive assault across the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.”Four Pakistani posts have been destroyed in a massive fire assault in Keran Sector,” an army official said. Heavy casualties have been inflicted on the Pakistani side, he said, without giving further details.The firing assault comes in retaliation to ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in the Keran sector earlier in the day, in which one BSF jawan and a civilian woman were injured. Amid the continuing ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along LoC, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday assured the nation that security forces were giving “befitting reply” to firing from across border and that the country will not bow down before anyone. “I want to assure the nation that the security forces are giving befitting reply to the firing from Pakistan. We will not bow down before anyone,” he told reporters here.Singh said if countrymen were celebrating Diwali, it was because of the security personnel guarding the borders. The Home Minister said people must have faith in security forces who are foiling the evil designs of enemies.Terrorists, aided by the cover fire by Pakistani Army, last night crossed the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and killed an Indian Army jawan and mutilated his body, prompting the Army to warn that the “incident will be responded to appropriately.” Four Army and three BSF personnel have died in the latest escalation along the boundary with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan Rangers also violated ceasefire in RS Pura and Kathua sectors along International Border today.

Human rights of Indian soldiers should take precedence over the rights of terrorists: Jitendra Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that the human rights of an Army soldier are supreme, Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday said an Indian soldier’s rights should take precedence over those of terrorists.He said a militant forfeits his entitlement to human rights the day he engages in terrorism which is the biggest violation of human rights. “Human rights of an Army soldier are supreme…The human rights of Indian soldiers should take precedence over the rights of terrorists,” he said. Singh, who arrived in Jammu this morning, drove straight to International Border, saying he would like to begin his visit by meeting the security personnel posted at the border and greeting them on Diwali eve.He addressed a public meeting organised by Seema Jan Kalyan Samiti, comprising ex-servicemen, their families and local residents. He said people find Army a convenient, soft target as it is trained to exercise restraint but they do not have courage to call a terrorist a terrorist or to condemn the atrocious act of mutilating a soldier’s body. He said a terrorist, who is not constrained to follow any rule of law, will immediately retaliate and put their life at risk.Singh said it is high time the nation rose to call the bluff of the so called ‘human rights protagonists and the pseudo-intellectuals’ who seek to promote their politics at the cost of army jawans. He said when you ask them a straight question on whether Burhan Wani was a terrorist or not, instead of saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, they come out with long platitudes, philosophies and postulations. Those who lack the courage of conviction to call a spade a spade, have no right to point a finger at an armed forces jawan because of whom they are in a position to conveniently sit in their drawing rooms and issue “lofty” statements, he added.Stressing that this year’s Diwali was dedicated to the army and para-military forces, Singh said we are able to celebrate the festival in the country, because of the young soldiers who are guarding the border day and night and spending sleepless nights. It is a sin to say or do anything that would directly or indirectly compromise the morale of armed forces, he added.Singh said for the first time since Independence, a project has been undertaken to build 1140 Sulabh toilets in the border villages, out of which 150 have already been completed and added that construction of bunkers along the border areas has also been started. The Union Minister claimed that the critics had never even once lauded the Narendra Modi government for enhancing the compensation of the civilian victims of cross-border firing, putting it at par with that of terrorism victims.About the allotment of 5 marlas of land to each family along the border, Singh said this issue is still under consideration.

Pakistani troopers start heavy shelling targeting civilians and BSF in Jammu

Pakistani troopers start heavy shelling targeting civilians and BSF in Jammu

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Jammu: Pakistani troopers on Saturday started heavy shelling targeting civilians and Border Security Force (BSF) facilities on the International Border in Hiranagar sector and R.S.Pura in Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

“Around 6 a.m., the Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy mortar shelling and automatic gunfire. The BSF has started retaliating effectively,” the police said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Shelling and firing exchanges are still going on in both these sectors.”

On Friday, heavy shelling and firing exchanges took place in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts and on the Line of Control (LoC) in Mendhar and Machil sectors.

A soldier was killed in Machil sector where the army foiled an infiltration bid. A militants was also killed in this operation.

The Army said the militants had mutilated the soldier’s body before withdrawing into the Pakistan side of the LoC.

Watch: Son pays tribute to BSF martyr Jitendra Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cremation of BSF martyr Jitendra Singh, who was killed in Pakistani firing, took place at his native Motihari in Bihar on Saturday. Raxual-Gun salutes were paid to the jawan during the ceremony.Singh was killed in heavy firing from across the border on October 27. He was the third BSF jawan to be killed in firing and shelling by Pakistani Rangers in RS Pura sector in the past few days. Head constable Sushil Kumar was killed on October 24. Constable Gurnam Singh, who foiled an infiltration bid by heavily armed militants in Bobiya area of Kathua district, was injured on Friday in a sniper attack and died on Saturday night.Family members paid their respects to the slain soldier during the cremation ceremony.The Bihar government announced Rs 11 lakh compensation for the family. V ChandraThe Border Security Force (BSF) had on Friday paid tributes to Singh. A wreath-laying ceremony was organised at the Jammu frontier camp of BSF at Paloura.BSF ADG (Western Command) Arun Kumar, BSF IG (Jammu) D K Upadhayay and CRPF IG Pankaj Kumar were among those who paid floral tribute to the martyr on this occasion.Arun Kumar said that BSF has the history of bravery and always committed to ensure sanctity of international border and safety security of the border population. “This brave act has once again proved that border men sacrifice their lives when it comes to security of the nation,” he said.

BSF jawan killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in J&K’s Machil sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides an Indian Army soldier, a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan also lost his life in the ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Machhal sector of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. Last night, in an encounter close to the Line of Control in Machhal sector, an Indian Army soldier lost his life and a terrorist was also neutralised.During the encounter, a terrorist mutilated the body of the soldier before fleeing into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), supported by covering fire from Pakistan Army posts. “This barbarism is a true reflection which pervades official and non-official organisation across the border. This act will invite an appropriate response,” the Indian Army said in a statement. Meanwhile, heavy mortar shelling by Pakistan has been reported in Kathua and Abdullian in RS Pura sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian troops are giving a befitting response to the ceasefire violation initiated by Pakistan. On Friday, A BSF head constable was killed and seven civilians injured as Pakistan Rangers on Thursday continued firing mortar shells and small arms in RS Pura and Arnia sectors, while the Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation along the LoC in Sunderbani, Mendhar and KG sectors. However, A BSF spokesperson, said that a Pakistan Ranger was also killed and another injured in retaliatory fire. Ever since the Indian Army on September 29th carried out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads in PoK, ceasefire violations are a daily norm along the LoC and five Indians, including four security personnel, have been killed and 34 injured since. On October 21st, the BSF killed seven Pakistan Rangers and a terrorist in Kathua and on October 25, around three Pakistani Army personnel were reportedly killed in retaliatory firing by Indian troops in the Noushera sector of Rajouri district.

‘Pakistan-aided’ terrorists kill Indian soldier, mutilate his body before fleeing back into PoK

Terrorists, aided by the cover fire by Pakistani Army, on Friday crossed the Line of Control and killed an Indian army jawan and mutilated his body in Macchil sector of Kupwara district of Kashmir, an army spokesman said.

One attacker was killed in the incident which the Indian Army said will be “responded to appropriately”.

“In an encounter close to the Line of Control this evening, one soldier was martyred and one terrorist was killed. The terrorists mutilated the body of the jawan before fleeing back into Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir under the cover of firing by Pakistan Army,” he said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

He said the incident reflected the barbarism pervading in official and unofficial organisations in Pakistan.

“The incident will be responded to appropriately,” he added.

Pakistani troopers continued heavy shelling targeting civilians and Border Security Force (BSF) facilities on the International Border in Hiranagar sector and RS Pura in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, police said.

“Around 6am, the Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy mortar shelling and automatic gunfire. The BSF has started retaliating effectively,” the police said.

“Shelling and firing exchanges are still going on in both these sectors.”

As military confrontation increased on the border on Friday, two civilians were killed in Jammu region of India in cross-border shelling and firing overnight even as BSF claimed to have killed 15 Pakistani soldiers over the last one week.

BSF, which primarily guards the International Border with Pakistan, said it had also foiled two infiltration bids in Samba district two days back. Besides, BAT (Border Action Team) attacks from Pakistani side along the Line of Control have also been thwarted during the past 24 hours.

Firing mortar shells and using automatic weapons, Pakistani troops targeted civilian areas and forward security posts along the International Border and Line of Control in Jammu, Kathua, Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

“At 1720 hour yesterday, Pakistan Rangers started unprovoked heavy firing and shelling in Kathua sector of Jammu which further spread to Hiranagar and Samba. It continued till 0500 hours today in the area of 24 BSF posts,” a senior BSF officer said.

“In the Pakistani shelling, one civilian died in Khour belt of Pallanwala sector today,” Jammu Deputy Commissioner Simrandeep Singh said, adding another civilian was injured in RS Pura sector.

Similarly, one woman Usma Bi, aged 50 years, was killed in shelling by Pakistan on Gohlad village in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district on Friday, Defence spokesman said.

Another civilian was injured in the area, the reports said.

BSF Additional Director General Arun Kumar said as per the ammunition used, it seems Pakistani Army Army is backing the Rangers and has taken over the posts of the paramilitary force, which is the further cause of escalation.

Kumar, who laid the wreath at the moral remains of the BSF martyr Head Constable Jitendra Singh here, said, “they (Pakistani side) are resorting to heavy firing and shelling and we are giving them befitting reply.”

He said BSF has inflicted heavy damage on the Pakistani side. “As far the number of casualties on other side is concerned, which our men have seen through our eyes and instruments, 15 Pakistani soldiers have been killed after the sniping incident of Constable Gurnam Singh (on 21 October),” he said.

Gurnam was injured in the sniper firing and then succumbed to the injuries.

“They (Pakistani side) have suffered damage but are hiding them in public domain and they do not accept it. Last night we have destroyed their OP (observation post) towers and some OP towers caught fire due to our firing,” Kumar said.

He said Pakistani Rangers, Pakistani regulars and civilian population on their side have suffered heavy damage because of the Indian retaliation.

“The damage to the civilian population is much more (than us)… We have seen a large number of ambulances coming and picking up injured. They have been making announcements from mosques asking people to assemble for last rites. All that points that they suffered a lot,” the BSF officer said.

With inputs from agencies

Pakistan violates ceasefire in Kathua sector of J&K; BSF retaliates

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan violated ceasefire by using mortar shells in Kathua sector of Jammu and Kashmir at around 7:20 am on Saturday. The BSF said that it had retaliated with small arms and that there were no casualties.Late Friday night, the Army said that Pakistan had violated ceasefire along the LoC in Sundarbani and Pallanwala sectors in Rajouri and Jammu districts.The latest violation comes in the wake of a “barbaric” incident in which terrorists, aided by the cover fire by Pakistani Army, crossed the Line of Control on Friday and killed an Indian army jawan. The terrorists mutilated his body in Macchil sector of Kupwara district of Kashmir. One attacker was killed in the incident which the Indian army said will be “responded to appropriately”.As military confrontation increased on the border, the BSF on Friday claimed to have killed 15 Pakistani soldiers over the last one week. BSF, which primarily guards the International Border with Pakistan, said it had also foiled two infiltration bids in Samba district three days ago. Besides, BAT (Border Action Team) attacks from Pakistani side along the Line of Control have also been thwarted.However, the Pakistan army on Friday claimed that none of its soldiers had died at the border, contradicting the BSF’s assertion. Pakistan accused India of killing three civilians and wounding five others in cross-border fire in the Nakyal sector.

Heavy firing along IB, BSF kills 15 Pakistan Rangers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Border Security Force (BSF) has hit Pakistan Rangers where it hurts the most. More than 15 Pakistan Rangers soldiers have been killed by the BSF in retaliatory action in the last one week along the International Border (IB).Pakistan, however, extended the shelling to the Line of Control (LoC), killing two more civilians in the Mendhar and Chamb sectors of Jammu division on Friday.”What our people have seen and what we have assessed is that at least 15 Rangers and armymen have been killed on the other side in the last one week,” Additional Director-General of BSF, Arun Kumar, said.Two civilians, a woman and a boy, were killed when Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked shelling on Indian forward posts and civilian areas in Mendhar and Chamb sectors on Friday. Fifty-year-old Isma Begum was killed in Mendhar while Ajay Kumar was killed in Gigiryal village of the Chamb sector.Three civilians – two girls and a man – were injured when Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy shelling on the border outposts and civilian areas on the IB in Hiranagar sector of Jammu division on Friday morning.The death toll of civilians in Pakistan shelling has now touched three in the Jammu division in the last five days. Three BSF troopers, too, have lost their lives in cross-border shelling since Sunday. More than 35 people have been injured in the cross-border firing and shelling in the last five days.Official figures show that two Army jawans and three BSF men too have been killed since the Indian Army’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on September 29.During the last 24 hours, Pakistan has intensified shelling and carried out 12 ceasefire violations on the IB and Line of Control (LoC). “We are giving a befitting reply to the ceasefire violations in the RS Pura and Samba sectors, and, particularly, in Jammu. We have never taken any initiative to intensify firing at any point of time. There has been intense firing from across the border, which was strongly retaliated by the BSF and the Army,” said Kumar.Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Northern Command, said there has been unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the Balakote sector from 11.30 am. “They are using small arms, automatics, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars. Our troops responded appropriately and befittingly. There are no casualties on our side till reports came in last,” he said.Fear has gripped the villages along the Zero Line of IB. Thousands of villagers have fled their homes. The police said 90 per cent of population, living around 12 villages in RS Pura and Arnia, have shifted to safer areas.Breaking her silence, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that war is no solution and Pakistan should initiate dialogue.”Ultimately we have to form a friendly relationship. India and Pakistan need to sit together like civilised nations and talk. I think there is a need for Pakistan to take the initiative,” she said.Meanwhile, the Pakistan army on Friday claimed that none of its soldiers had died at the border, contradicting the BSF’s assertion that it had killed 15 Pakistan Rangers personnel. However, Pakistan accused India of killing three civilians and wounding five others in cross-border fire in the Nakyal sector.

Terror is a weapon of cowards: Rajnath Singh tells Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Making a veiled reference, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday Pakistan was indulging in a proxy war and has been trying to harm India by taking “cowardly” aid of terrorism. “The neighbouring country has been carrying out proxy war. But terrorism is not a weapon of the brave but of cowards. Those who fight from behind are called cowards…they take the help of terrorism,” he said.Speaking at the 55th raising day event of border guarding force Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at its camp here, he said strict vigil by the force has resulted in 60% less transgressions into the Indian territory by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army this year. Referring to the current tensions between the two countries, he said the neighbour has been trying to harm India and was attempting to break and “destabilise” it by resorting to terrorism.Singh said an “evil eye” is being cast on India to thwart its progress as it is marching on as one of the fastest growing economies of the world. Situation along the Indo-Pak border continues to remain tense after terrorists attacked an Army camp in Uri killing 19 soldiers on September 17.In a retaliatory action, Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads in PoK on September 27. Firing by both Indian and Pakistani forces towards each other’s positions have been continuing leading to several deaths on both sides. Singh had earlier instructed border guarding forces not to fire towards the enemy first, but not to count bullets if they are fired upon.Later, while taking questions on the ceasefire violations by Pakistan, he said, “Our soldiers are responding to them befittingly.” To a question on the espionage case involving a diplomat of the Pakistani High Commission in India, he said the government is taking necessary action.

Pakistan’s latest ceasefire violation is just another one in a series of continuous attacks this week

Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling and firing on Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC and international border in Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts on Friday, taking the number of ceasefire violations by Pakistan to over 56 post the surgical strikes.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The victims — two girls and a man — were injured due to mortar shell splinters in Lallai Chak village on Friday.

The cross-border firing on 24 October led to the death of a six-year-old boy and a BSF jawan, injuring 10 people, including eight civilians. Pakistani troops targeted over 25 border outposts in the border hamlets along International Border using small and automatic weapons as well mortar bombs in the border areas.

The troops again violated the ceasefire on 25 October where eight civilians were injured in shelling in RS Pura and Arnia sectors. On 27 October, a BSF trooper was killed and seven civilians were injured when Pakistani troops shelled over 15 Border outposts and 29 hamlets with mortar bombs and fired heavily from automatic weapons over the night in Katgus sector of Jammu which further spread to Hiranagar and Samba.

The ceasefire violations have only increased since the surgical strikes which were carried out by Indian Army on 29 September on terror launch pads in PoK, in which four persons, including three security personnel, died and over 25 were injured.

The Army has constantly been on alert, and have been advising people to stay indoors as firing continues across the Line of Control.

The indiscriminate mortar shellings in Lallai Chak, Pansar, Pahadpur, Londi villages and other places along the LoC have damaged over two dozen houses compelling more than 400 families to migrate to safer locations.

Over a dozen cattle have also perished in these villages.

The entire population of Abdullian village in RS Pura sector has also migrated after Pakistan Rangers targeted civilian and BSF facilities in the area during the last five days.

Meanwhile, curfew imposed in Srinagar

Authorities on Friday imposed curfew in parts of Srinagar in view of the separatists’ call for a march to the historic Jamia Masjid here ahead of Friday prayers.

Curfew has been imposed in Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safakadal, Rainawari and Maharaj Gunj in the old city and Batamaloo in uptown, a police official said.

As many as 85 people, including two policemen, have been killed and thousands of others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley. Around 5,000 security forces personnel have also been injured in the clashes.

Over 300 persons have been booked under Public Safety Act.

With inputs from agencies

BSF jawan, Army soldier fall to cross-border bullets in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is a battle like situation on the International Border (IB) in Jammu division. Pakistan Rangers killed another Border Security Force (BSF) soldier, the third in the last five days, injuring seven civilians including three women when they resorted to heavy gunfire along the IB in the RS Pora and Arnia sectors of Jammu division on Wednesday night.In a separate incident, an Army jawan was killed and another injured when troops foiled an infiltration bid on the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir’s Tangdhar sector.Border Security Force later hit back and killed one Pakistan Ranger grievously injuring another in retaliation to the cross-border firing and shelling along the IB in the Jammu division.BSF head constable Jitender Kumar, Bihar was killed when he received shrapnel wounds in shelling at Abdulian area of RS Pora sector. He was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. “Salutes to martyr Jitender Kumar for standing tall to frontiers, defending borders till his last breath. True to motto,” tweeted BSF.Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked shelling at 8.30 pm on Wednesday targeting 15 Border Outposts (BOPs) and more than 18 villages. Seven civilians including three women were injured when a shell exploded in Gopar Basti area of RS Pora sector.Pakistan Rangers have been using long range weapons including 82 mm, having a range of 4.5 kilometers and 120 mm mortars, with a range of seven kilometers, to hit deep into the civilian areas along the IB. Pakistan fired around 200 shells during the night to target BSF and civilian areas.Inspector General of BSF, Jammu Frontier, DK Upadhyaya told DNA that BSF is retaliating heavily and in the retaliatory fire one Pakistani Ranger has been shot dead and another has been grievously injured.”Two Rangers were shot by the BSF at two different places. They (Pakistan Rangers) somehow managed to evacuate one of them. Another has been shot dead and he is lying there only. They are targeting almost every post. It is happening in RS Pora, Arnia and Ramgarh sectors,” he said.Upadhyaya noted Pakistan Rangers are making desperate attempts to push in militants to Indian side (under the cover of shelling). “They have been making desperate attempts to send the militants in. That is always there.And that is their prime motive,” he said.In another incident, Indian Army foiled a major infiltration bid when they intercepted a group of militants trying to sneak in from the Line of Control in Tangdhar sector. “In the ensuing encounter one soldier has been martyred and another injured,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Pakistan shelling has also forced thousands of villagers living close to the IB to flee from their homes. Police said 90 per cent of population living around 12 villages have shifted to safer areas to escape the shelling. “Since Wednesday around 18 people are injured in Pakistan shelling. Only 10 per cent people are currently living in 10 to 12 shelling prone villages. Ninety per cent of people have already shifted,” Surinder Chaudhary, sub divisional police officer, RS Pora, told DNA.Police said most of the villagers of shelling prone areas are putting up with their relatives in the safer areas.”We have set up camps for the people of the shelling-prone villages. Most of the people have gone to their relatives places. Last night, around 250 people were putting up in shelter camps,” said Chaudhary. Pakistan army, meanwhile, has violated the ceasefire in Sunderbani sector which is being strongly retaliated by the Indian Army.

Pak Ranger killed, another injured in retaliatory fire: BSF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Pakistani Ranger was killed and another injured in retaliatory firing by Indian troops after heavy overnight shelling by Pakistani forces in R S Pura and Arnia sectors along International Border (IB), the BSF said on Thursday.”At 1230 and 1315 hours today, BSF troops in Arnia and R S Pura sectors killed one Pak Ranger and seriously injured another in the retaliatory fire,” a senior BSF officer said.Pakistani troopers managed to evacuate the injured trooper in the vehicle amidst exchange of fire, the officer said. “Pakistan has resorted to very heavy firing which is being responded to in a befitting manner,” he said.In yet another ceasefire violation after targeting International Border (IB), Pakistan troops indulged in firing along LoC in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district.”Pakistan troops have violated ceasefire and resorted to firing along LOC in Sunderbani sector today,” a senior Army officer said. Troops guarding the border line retaliated, he said.A BSF jawan has died and six people were injured when Pakistani troops shelled over 15 border outposts and 29 hamlets with mortar bombs over night in R S Pura and Arnia Sectors along International Border (IB) in Jammy district.The BSF had last Friday claimed to have killed seven Pakistan Rangers and one terrorist in “retaliatory fire” in Kathua sector. Since surgical strikes by Army on terror launch pads in PoK, over 55 ceasefire violations by Pakistan have taken place in which four people including three security men died and over 25 have been injured.

Pakistan violates ceasefire, one killed, seven injured in Jammu’ shelling RS Pura sector

Pakistan violates ceasefire, one killed, seven injured in Jammu’ shelling RS Pura sector

Updated: Oct 27, 2016 12:26 IST

#BSF #Ceasefire violation #Jammu #NewsTracker #RS Pura

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Jammu: A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper was killed and seven civilians were injured on Thursday during heavy shelling between Indian and Pakistani forces troops in Jammu district’s RS Pura sector.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Police said the trooper died after sustaining splinter injuries.

The seven injured civilians including five women belonging to two families of Goparbasti village have been shifted to a hospital for treatment, the police added,

Pakistani troopers also started indiscriminate shelling and firing on the international border in the neighbouring Samba district.

“Pakistan Rangers targeted BSF positions in SM Pur, Nanga and Chambyal villages of Samba district.

“People from shelling affected villages of RS Pura and Akhnoor in Jammu district and areas of Samba district have started moving to safer locations,” the police said.

Intermittent shelling and firing exchanges continued in both Samba and RS Pura.

J&K: Six civilians injured in mortar shelling by Pakistani troops in RS Pura sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least six civilians were injured in mortar shelling by Pakistani troops along International Border in RS Pura sector of Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday morning.Pakistani Rangers pounded civilian areas and Indian paramilitary posts in two sectors of the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir since Wednesday night, prompting authorities to order closure of schools and advise people to shift to safer places.On Wednesday, an officer of the Border Security Force was injured when a shell fired by Pakistani Rangers exploded near him during overnight ceasefire violation”Assistant Sub Inspector of BSF A K Upadhayay was injured when a shell exploded near him in RS Pura sector. He received splinter injures in his hand,” a BSF spokesman said.Pakistani side was targeting Indian posts and civilian areas with heavy mortar and small arms fire.On October 16, Pakistani troops had violated the ceasefire twice along the LoC in Naushera and Rajouri sectors in which one jawan was martyred.On October 8, Pakistani troops had fired on forward Indian posts along Mendhar-Krishnagati sector in Poonch district resulting in injuries to a jawan.Pakistani troops had on October 5 violated the ceasefire thrice and resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling targeting several Indian posts and civilian areas in three sectors of Poonch and Rajouri districts.

Heavy shelling continues between India, Pakistan in Jammu’s RS Pura

Heavy shelling continues between India, Pakistan in Jammu’s RS Pura

Updated: Oct 27, 2016 08:25 IST

#BSF #India #Jammu #NewsTracker #pakistani #RS Pura

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Jammu: Heavy shelling continued between Indian and Pakistani troops on Thursday in Jammu district’s RS Pura sector of the International Border (IB).

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The shelling along with firing exchanges started late Wednesday night, police said

“After Pakistan Rangers used 82 mm mortar shells to target civil and Border Security Force (BSF) facilities in RS Pura, the BSF retaliated effectively using same calibre weapons,” police sources said.

“Shelling and firing exchanges took place in Korotana Kurd, Bidipur, Jattan, Abdullian, Chandu Chak, Shamka and Hansu Chak areas.”

Loud explosions could still be heard in these areas.

No reports of human casualty or damage to property have so far been reported, the sources added.

One BSF officer, 11 civilians injured after Pakistan opens fire in RS Pura, Jammu

Jammu: A BSF officer and 11 civilians were injured in heavy shelling and firing by the Pakistan Rangers on the International Border (IB) in Jammu district, police said on Wednesday.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“Two persons including a Border Security Force (BSF) assistant sub-inspector and a civilian were injured in the nightlong Pakistan shelling and firing,” a police officer said.

Pakistan Rangers resorted to indiscriminate mortar shelling and automatic gunfire during the night in RS Pura sector, the official said.

“The BSF has effectively retaliated. The firing exchanges are still on in the area,” the officer said.

Meanwhile, villagers living in areas close to the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts were spending nights in concrete bunkers close to their homes.

Fearing further escalation of hostilities on the borders, many villagers in Arnia and Akhnoor have harvested their half ripe crops.

“We are continuing to brave the danger for our cattle and crops,” said Bodhraj, 65, a resident of RS Pura sector, adding “It is already becoming unbearable in our village as shells start raining here from the sky all through the night.”

Pakistan summons Indian envoy over ‘ceasefire violations’ along Working Boundary

Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday summoned India’s deputy high commissioner and lodged a strong protest against “ceasefire violations” along the Working Boundary, the Pakistan’s foreign office said.

Deputy high Commissioner JP Singh was summoned by the director feneral (South Asia and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

A strong protest was lodged against the unprovoked ceasefire violations on 23-24 October by Indian forces at the Working Boundary in Phuklian and Chaprar Sectors in which two civilians, including a one-and-a-half-year-old girl, were killed and six others were injured, foreign office said in a statement.

“It was conveyed to the Indian side that it should investigate the incident and share the findings with Pakistan, instruct its troops to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit, refrain from intentionally targeting the villages and maintain peace on the Working Boundary,” the statement said.

Pakistan has also lodged a protest with the United Nations Military Observers group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) over the killing of two civilians in ‘unprovoked’ firing across the Working Boundary, Dawn reported.

“India resorted to unprovoked firing across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary in the Bhimber and Chaprar sectors respectively on Tuesday,” Inter-Services Public Relations said.

“The exchange of fire was ongoing,” the statement added.

“Protest lodged by Pakistan with UNMOGIP reg unprovoked firing by Indian forces on WB last night that killed innocent civilians,” M Nafees Zakaria, spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan, tweeted.

Meanwhile, India on Tuesday said Pakistan army violated the ceasefire by targeting Indian Army positions with mortar and small arms fire in Noushera sector of Rajouri district, prompting the army to give a “befitting response”.

A six-year-old boy and a BSF Jawan were killed and 10 people including eight civilians were injured in the shelling on Monday when Pakistan Rangers targeted over 25 border outposts in the border hamlets along International Border.

There have been over 40 ceasefire violations from the Pakistani side since the Indian side carried out surgical strikes inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir targeting terror launching pads, post the attack on an army camp in Uri on 18 September.

J-K: Pakistan Army violates ceasefire in Noushera sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Army on Tuesday violated the ceasefire by targeting Indian Army positions with mortar and small arms fire in Noushera sector of Rajouri district, prompting the army to give a “befitting response”. “From 10 AM, Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in Noushera sector of Rajouri district by targeting our positions with mortar bombs and small arms fire”, an army officer said. He said the army was giving a “befitting response” to the ceasefire violation from the Pakistani side. “The army is giving a befitting response to the Pakistani army,” the officer said. There was no report of any loss of life or the property on the Indian side as the firing from both the sides was still going on. A 6-year-old boy and a BSF Jawan were killed and 10 people including 8 civilians were injured in the shelling yesterday when Pakistan Rangers targeted over 25 Border out Posts in the border hamlets along International Border. There have been over 40 ceasefire violations from the Pakistani side since the Indian side carried out surgical strikes inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir targeting terror launching pads, post the attack on an army camp in Uri on September 18.

Odisha: Death toll of Maoists killed in Malkangiri encounter rises 27

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The death toll rose to 27 on Tuesday after the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha police recovered three more dead bodies of Maoists.The Maoists, including their top leaders, were gunned down in a fierce gun-battle with security forces in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on the border with Andhra Pradesh, giving a major blow to the ultras.A senior commando of the elite anti-Naxal force, Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh was also killed, while another commando was injured in the encounter that took place in the cut-off area of remote Chitrakonda on Andhra-Odisha border, Malkangiri SP Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said. “The bodies of 24 Maoists, including that of some women, were recovered from the site after the joint operation conducted by the Odisha police and Greyhounds, while a few of the rebels are suspected to have fled,” the SP said yesterday. He said two senior Greyhounds commandos, who were injured in the gun-battle in the wee hours, had been airlifted to Visakhapatnam for treatment and one of them, identified as Abubacker, succumbed to injuries in a hospital there. The other commando is undergoing treatment. Some high-ranking Maoist leaders, including Uday and Chalapati who carried heavy rewards on their heads, were suspected to be among those killed in the encounter that took place in a mountainous forest area between Bejing and Muchiputam under Panasput grampanchyat, the police said. Stating that the operation was launched on the basis of intelligence inputs, Odisha GDP K B Singh said 10 rifles, four AK-47 rifles, three SLRs, kit bags and huge ammunition have been recovered from the site and search operation was continuing. There was information about the presence of cadres of Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee in the area and Odisha police teams also got it verified that Naxal camps were operating there, the DGP said. “Since the area is located in the cut-off area on Andhra-Odisha border, the operation was launched from the other side and Greyhounds took the lead,” Singh said. Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to airlift the bodies of the slain Maoists to Malkangiri, the SP said adding that combing operation was also intensified in the forest in Andhra-Odisha border areas to locate bodies, if any, and the fleeing Maoists. Noting that the encounter site was located in a highly remote area which is accessible by road only through Andhra Pradesh, he said the bodies are to be airlifted by helicopter to Malkangiri.Malkangiri served as a major transit belt of the Naxals. In September 2013, as many as 13 Maoists were killed in an exchange of fire with the police in the Padia area of Malkangiri districtThe operation is seen as a revenge of the attack on June 29, 2008 when Maoists had ambushed a boat carrying Greyhound jawans in the reservoir at Alampaka. Altogether 38 persons, including 35 Greyhound jawans from Andhra Pradesh, had been killed in the attack. Andhra Pradesh DGP (in charge) Nanduri Sambasiva Rao, who flew down to Visakhapatnam in afternoon, said Maoists continued to fire at the police parties. “They are still firing. We are asking them to stop not sure if the firing has stopped,” he told reporters at Visakhapatnam airport. Gajarla Ravi, who took part in the peace talks with AP government in 2004 along with top Maoist leader Ramakrishna, had been functioning as the Maoist Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) zone secretary.Some reports suggested that Ramakrishna, who hails from Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh, gave a slip to police from the encounter site this morning even as unconfirmed reports suggested that his son Munna, who joined the Maoists recently, was among those killed. The top Maoist had leaders assembled in their “den” in the Malkangiri forests for a plenum when the alleged encounter took place around 6.45 AM. Gajarla Ravi had been active in the Naxal movement for more than two decades. One of his brothers, Gajarla Saraiah alias Azad, was also killed in an encounter with police in Warangal district (now in Telangana) a few years ago while another brother Ashok had recently surrendered to the police due to ill health. Another top Maoist leader Ramachandra Reddy alias Chalapati hailing from Chittoor district of AP, who had been under-ground for over four decades now, was also said to be among the ultras killed today. This was the third major “encounter” between the Maoists and security forces in the AOB region in which the former suffered heavy casualties. Meanwhile, civil society leaders have demanded an inquiry by a sitting judge of High Court into the encounter. “It was not an exchange of fire as being claimed by police. The Maoists, who were closeted in a meeting, were gunned down,” AP Civil Liberties Committee leader Srirama Murthy alleged. With inputs from agencies.

Pakistan creates mayhem on borders; BSF soldier, 6-year-old boy dies in shelling

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Rangers on Sunday night resorted to heavy and unprovoked shelling on the border outposts (BOPs) and the civilian areas leaving a Border Security Force (BSF) soldier and a six-year-old boy dead, and nine others injured along the International Border (IB) in Jammu division. Around 50 cattle were killed and 180 others injured while 10 structures were damaged when Pakistan Rangers pounded more than 15 villages from RS Pora to Akhnoor sectors using heavy calibre weapons including 82 mm mortars and 120 mm mortars. More than 25 BOPs were targeted by Pakistan Rangers overnight. A BSF spokesman said Head Constable Sushil Kumar sustained bullet injury on his chest when Pakistan violated ceasefire in RS Pora sector on Sunday night.”He was immediately evacuated to Government Medical College Hospital Jammu where doctor declared him brought dead at 1.30am. Two more BSF personnel – assistant sub inspector RD Puri and constable Ayyappa Babu — sustained minor injuries and are recovering in the hospital,” he said. Before making the supreme sacrifice, Sushil Kumar gave a befitting reply to the Pakistani shelling from his post and was instrumental in suppressing the cross-border firing. “His sacrifice shall be remembered forever. As a peaceful country, we never initiated fire from our side but will never hesitate to give a befitting reply if we are compelled. BSF has the history of bravery and this brave act has once again proved that bordermen are always ready to sacrifice their livee for the nation,” said KK Sharma, Director General of BSF.Head Constable Sushil Kumar has become the second BSF soldier to have died while defending the borders during Pakistan’s shelling. Earlier, Constable Gurnam Singh had made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty on Saturday night. “I was told on other side there has been loss of life and property as well. My officers told me that ambulances were seen on Pakistan post Tariq which is opposite to our BOP Chenab. I believe Pakistan rangers suffered damage in our action”, said Sharma.A six year old boy was also killed and his aunt injured when a Pakistani shell landed in Lalyal vallage of Kanachak sector in Akhnoor. Identified as Vicky of Bihar, he was playing in the field when the shell exploded at 8.30 am. His aunt has been admitted in the hospital for treatment. Fear has gripped the border villagers with people in hoards leaving their homes for safer places on Sunday night. “People moved to safer areas on their own last night. People did not report to government shelters but were putting up with their relatives,” said Simrandeep Singh, district development commissioner, Jammu. People in different villages took shelter in the newly constructed bunkers to escape from Pakistani shelling. “Particularly the migrant laborers who do not have house of their own use underground bunkers to escape shelling,” said Singh.39 truce violationsFigures reveal that Pakistan has carried out 39 ceasefire violations along the borders since Indian army launched surgical strikes on terror camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on September 29. There have been seven ceasefire violations in the last five days and twice during the last 24 hours.

ITBP deploys women personnel at Sino-India border for the first time

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 100 women ITBP personnel have been deployed at 15 border posts along the arduous Sino-India frontier, making it the first such posting of ‘mahila’ combatants in a forward area. The force has recently completed the full processes for deployment of the women personnel at select forward posts, ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary said.The women contingent, trained in war craft and and weapon firing, have been posted after the Border out Posts (BoPs) were made “gender neutral” and other facilities were created for them, he said.Officials said while the maximum of these women have been sent to Indo-Tibetan Border Police BoPs in the Ladakh frontier of Jammu and Kashmir, few have been posted at other locations in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.The total numbers of the women personnel, who have been posted at BoPs, is about 100, they said, adding few more BoPs will have women personnel in the coming days. The force earlier this year commissioned 500 women troops for deployment at India-China border in its constabulary ranks after training them for 44-weeks in in battle craft and mountain survival. The posts where these women have been deployed are situated at heights of between 8,000 and 14,000 feet, including the ‘Mana pass’ border post, the last village on the Indian side in Uttarakhand.The force plans to have women personnel make up at least 40 per cent of its strength at these forward posts. This is the first time India has deployed women troops right at the front, at least on the one which is considered to be the most arduous and tricky given the harsh climatic conditions and extreme mountainous terrain along the India-China border.ITBP, which marks its 55th Raising Day today, was raised in the aftermath of the 1962 Chinese aggression. These women, who were recruited in the force in February last year, hail from various states with 97 of them, the highest, coming from the hill state of Uttarakhand.Women constables were first inducted in this 80,000 personnel strong force in 2008, but they were until now only deployed for rendering law and order duties in troubled areas and in a few instances at the Nathu La pass to facilitate traders and for frisking women.ITBP has a total of 1,661 women personnel in its various ranks and branches of work with the maximum number of 1,033 being in the constabulary ranks.

Major blow to Maoists, 24 including top leaders gunned down in encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> At least 24 Maoists, including their top leaders, were gunned down in a fierce gun-battle with security forces in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on the border with Andhra Pradesh, giving a major blow to the ultras.A senior commando of the elite anti-Naxal force, Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh was also killed, while another commando was injured in the encounter that took place in the cut-off area of remote Chitrakonda on Andhra-Odisha border, Malkangiri SP Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said. “The bodies of 24 Maoists, including that of some women, were recovered from the site after the joint operation conducted by the Odisha police and Greyhounds, while a few of the rebels are suspected to have fled,” the SP said.He said two senior Greyhounds commandos, who were injured in the gun-battle in the wee hours, had been airlifted to Visakhapatnam for treatment and one of them, identified as Abubacker, succumbed to injuries in a hospital there. The other commando is undergoing treatment. Some high-ranking Maoist leaders, including Uday and Chalapati who carried heavy rewards on their heads, were suspected to be among those killed in the encounter that took place in a mountainous forest area between Bejing and Muchiputam under Panasput grampanchyat, the police said.Stating that the operation was launched on the basis of intelligence inputs, Odisha GDP K B Singh said 10 rifles, four AK-47 rifles, three SLRs, kit bags and huge ammunition have been recovered from the site and search operation was continuing. There was information about the presence of cadres of Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee in the area and Odisha police teams also got it verified that Naxal camps were operating there, the DGP said.”Since the area is located in the cut-off area on Andhra-Odisha border, the operation was launched from the other side and Greyhounds took the lead,” Singh said. Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to airlift the bodies of the slain Maoists to Malkangiri, the SP said adding that combing operation was also intensified in the forest in Andhra-Odisha border areas to locate bodies, if any, and the fleeing Maoists.Noting that the encounter site was located in a highly remote area which is accessible by road only through Andhra Pradesh, he said the bodies are to be airlifted by helicopter to Malkangiri.Malkangiri served as a major transit belt of the Naxals. In September 2013, as many as 13 Maoists were killed in an exchange of fire with the police in the Padia area of Malkangiri district. The operation is seen as a revenge of the attack on June 29, 2008 when Maoists had ambushed a boat carrying Greyhound jawans in the reservoir at Alampaka. Altogether 38 persons, including 35 Greyhound jawans from Andhra Pradesh, had been killed in the attack

At least four killed in India-Pakistan cross-border shelling | Reuters

At least four killed in India-Pakistan cross-border shelling | Reuters

Updated: Oct 24, 2016 19:11 IST

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By Asad Hashim and Fayaz Bukhari
| ISLAMABAD/SRINAGAR, India

ISLAMABAD/SRINAGAR, India Shelling across the border between India and Pakistan killed two Pakistani civilians, an Indian soldier and a boy, military officials from the two sides said on Monday, as tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours simmers.Pakistan’s military said the shelling hit the sectors of Harpal, Pukhlian and Charwah along the disputed “working boundary”, which separates Pakistan’s Punjab province from Indian-administered Kashmir’s Jammu region.India’s military said the firing occurred in the Pura, Pargwal and Kanachak sectors.Both countries have claimed the disputed Kashmir region in full since partition and independence from the British in 1947, but administer separate portions of it. They have fought two of their three wars over the territory.

Tensions have been strained since July, when Indian forces killed a young Kashmiri fighter, prompting mass protests in Indian-administered Kashmir. The resulting crackdown by security forces has seen at least 80 Kashmiri protesters killed.Relations plummeted even further in September, when gunmen stormed an Indian military base in Uri, killing 18 Indian soldiers, the largest such attack in 14 years.

India blamed Pakistan for the attack, and in response said it had launched “surgical strikes” across the de facto border in Kashmir on Sept 29 to target Kashmiri fighters based there. Pakistan denied any incursion had occurred on its territory. Pakistan’s military said a one-year-old child was among the dead in Pakistan in the village of Janglora. Pakistani forces responded to the Indian firing and an exchange of fire continued through the night.

Fifteen civilians were wounded in the firing, Pakistan said.In India’s Jammu region, a Border Security Force (BSF) soldier was killed by the Pakistani firing, while another was wounded, a BSF spokesman told Reuters. A boy, one of five civilians also injured, later died of his wounds, he said. (Writing by Asad Hashim; Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Toby Chopra)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Gurnam Singh’s body brought home, father proud of ‘supreme sacrifice’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Constable Gurnam Singh won the battle against Pakistan-backed infiltrators but lost the war with his life. The 26-year-old Border Security Force (BSF) soldier valiantly repulsed a major Pakistan-abetted infiltration on the International Border (IB) in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district on Wednesday night.Seemingly angry by his bravery, Pakistan Rangers sniped at him on Friday morning causing him serious head injuries. Seven Pakistan Rangers and a militant were killed when BSF launched an aggressive offensive after the sniper attack. Son of soil, Constable Gurnam Singh of RS Pora Jammu was rushed to the Government Medical College hospital Jammu where he breathed his last on Saturday night.”Constable Gurnam Singh was instrumental in repulsing forced infiltration by terrorists on intervening night of October 19 and 20. He was targeted by Pakistan on October 21. The soldier struggled hard but could not win over the war of life and attained highest sacrifice in the line of duty for the nation,” said a BSF spokesman.
ALSO READ BSF pays tribute to Gurnam Singh; says he was ‘instrumental’ in foiling infiltrationPride and pain galore his village when the mortal remains of the martyr reached the area for last rites on Sunday. Patriotic slogans rent the air as people paid their last respect to the soldier.”I am proud of the supreme sacrifice of my son for the motherland. I feel happy that my son bravely defended the border and gave befitting reply to Pakistan rangers and terrorists. He killed one of them and pushed back five others,” said Kulbir Singh, father of the slain constable Gurnam Singh.The sacrifice of Gurnam has only strengthened the aim of the family who want a hospital to be constructed for the injured soldiers where they could be treated by the specialist doctors. “As a child Gurnam used to salute BSF vehicles passing by. Since childhood, he wanted to join the BSF. All boys who attain martyrdom are like my sons,” he saidAdditional director general of BSF, Arun Kumar said that Gurnam Singh’s sacrifice shall be remembered forever and a case will be sent to the government recommending gallantry award for him.”Some days ago Pakistan tried to push some infiltrators into our side. Gurnam Singh bravely fought the infiltrators and thwarted their plans to cross the border. One terrorist was even killed. On the next day Pakistan launched a sniper attack in which he received head wounds. He was shifted to GMS hospital and we were about to shift him to Delhi but we lost him in the night,” said Kumar.The ADG of BSF noted that the history of bravery and this valiant act of Gurnam Singh has once again proved that BSF soldiers are always ready to sacrifice their life for the nation.

The irreplaceable part of ITBP, Sophia and Thunder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sophia and Thunderstorm are merely one among the hundred other animals: mules, yaks, ponies, dogs inducted in Indo-Tibetian Border police Force (ITBP) for operational and logistical duties. Yet, their role and performance have been integral for the force personnel who have developed a unique man-animal relationship moving beyond the operational dependence on duty.There are stories galore on the daring operations carried out by these animals and how they’ve become a irreplaceable part of ITBP. But since both the equine and dog work in sensitive locations, exact details of their adventurous exploits is hard to come.Commandant Raveshwar Singh Rana who trained Thunderstorm and is his handler remembers the time of snow blizzard in Ladakh during patrolling when there was a complete whiteout, covering the horse trail.”We could not see anything, the path below was completely covered by the snow, there was no compass with us and we lost the sense of direction,” he recalls. As the leader of the ponies, Thunderstorm lived up to its name. With his sixth-sense activated, he guided the rest of the ponies and the troops right up to the border outpost 15 kms away. “He is the most compassionate, gentle horse with an exceptional sixth sense. He knows how to handle even a novice rider and will not unsaddle them,” says second trainer Assistant Commandant Amit Chettri about the warm blood, thorough-bred Thunderstorm who also trains troops (riding on horses) for border patrolling.Sophia, the beautiful brown Belgian Malinois breed is still a baby, but commands the love and respect from the forces as a queen. In Rajnandgaon district, Chhatisgarh, where Sophia is attached with 40th battalion, has detected numerous IEDs during Road Opening Party (ROP) and Area Domination.Once while leading the vanguard along with her handler Havaldar Surinder Singh of an advance party which was walking 100 metres behind them, Sophia paused, started twitching her eyes, swishing her tail and quietly sat down. She had found a 15 kg pipe bomb planted by Maoists. Havaldar Surinder who had a walkie-talkie informed the party to stop, a bomb-disposal squad was summoned to dispose the IED. Her alertness that day not only saved the lives of the personnel in the advance party but also boosted the morale of the troops who work in anti-Naxal operations. Used to searching for explosives and going on long walks during the ROP exercises, for Sophia, this was just another day at work.

Pakistan violates ceasefire again at RS Pura in Jammu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Rangers once again violated the ceasefire along the International Border (IB) at RS Pura sector in Jammu district on Sunday as they fired from small arms targeting the Indian posts.”A few rounds were fired from the Pakistani side this evening which hit the mound near the border,” a BSF spokesman said. He said there was no retaliatory firing from the BSF which was keeping a “strict vigil” along the border.On Friday night, Pakistan Rangers had targeted the border hamlets and border outposts (BoP) with mortar shells and had opened fire from automatic weapons along the IB at RS Pura sector.Seven Pakistan Rangers personnel and a terrorist were killed and three others seriously injured in a befitting retaliatory action by the BSF as the Pakistani troops had targeted six sectors in Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir.Gurnam Singh (26), a BSF jawan injured in a sniper attack on Friday, succumbed in a Jammu hospital on Saturday night. Sunday’s ceasefire violation came within hours of Additional Director General, BSF Arun Kumar’s warning that the lull along the border could take “any turn anytime”.

BSF pays tribute to Gurnam Singh; says he was ‘instrumental’ in foiling infiltration

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Paying tributes to their slain comrade Gurnam Singh in a wreath laying ceremony with full honours, the Border Security Force (BSF) on Sunday hailed his supreme sacrifice and also said that fallen jawanhad been instrumental in foiling infiltration on the border.Speaking to the media here after the ceremony, Additional Director General (ADG) BSF, Arun Kumar informed that Gurnam was one of those personnel responsible for foiling the infiltration as Pakistan was trying to send men across the border under the cover of fire on October 19th and 20th.”Next morning he was on the same mount from where the infiltrators were sent back and he was shot at. It was becoming difficult for us to evacuate him from there due to the fire support of Pakistan and then we brought him to the Jammu medical college where he survived for two days,” Kumar added.Asserting that the doctors were trying everything to give him the best possible treatment, the officer further said that plans were being made to transport Gurnam to Delhi in an Air Ambulance, but unfortunately they lost him.”After Uri this was the first infiltration attempt along the International Border and was given befitting reply. We have been able to give them the proper response and have given them message that if they touch even one of our men, they will face severe consequences,” Kumar said.The Additional Director General also informed that Gurnam’s name will be recommended for the Gallantry Award.Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has offered his condolences to the heartbroken family of Gurnam Singh.”I am saddened by the demise of BSF jawan Gurnam Singh. He has given an example of bravery on the border and gave his life for the nation. I laud the sheer bravery and sacrifice of Gurnam Singh and offer my condolences to his grieving family,” Rajnath said in a series of tweets.However, the distraught and crushed family of the slain soldier have asserted that he would have been alive if provided with better medical facilities.Kulbir Singh, father of Gurnam said that had there been a separate hospital for BSF soldiers in RS Pura, proper treatment could have been given to him.”There is only one government hospital here in Bakshinagar. That is why we demand that there should be separate health care system for BSF soldiers. Had it been installed he could have been given proper treatment,” Singh told ANI.”We all are proud of my brother’s sacrifice”, said Gurnam’s sister Gurjeet Kaur.Distraught by the loss, the family has demanded from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to construct a special hospital for all the BSF soldiers so that similar case does not repeat in the near future.”I am proud of my brother’s sacrifice. Not only me but my all relatives are proud of him. We all prayed for his recovery but it did not happen. We have only one request to Modi government that a proper health care system be installed for the BSF soldiers like my brother, who was just lying there with his injuries without any attention,” said sister of Gurnam Singh.Gurnam succumbed to his injuries last night, after he was critically injured in an attack by Pakistani forces at border area in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.The family of Gurnam Singh, on Saturday had demanded that the government take him abroad for better medical treatment to ensure his survival.”Why is the government is still keeping him in the same hospital? Is there no other hospital in the country? The government can even send him to foreign (country), or a foreign doctor can be called. If ministers can go abroad for their treatment, then why can’t army men? asked Singh’s sister, Gurjeet Kaur.Still unaware about the actual condition of her brother, Kaur said that they had only got a call about the incident on afternoon Friday.Dr. Rajinder Thappa, Chief Medical Officer at the Government Medical College said that the jawan had breathed his last on Saturday night 11: 30 p.m.”His parents wanted him to be shifted to AIIMS for better treatment. We were about to do that yesterday but unfortunately he passed away,” Thapa told ANI.Gurnam received a bullet injury to his head on Friday when a Pakistani Ranger fired on his outpost in the Hiranagar area of Jammu.The BSF launched an aggressive offensive, killing a militant and seven Pakistani Rangers in retaliation.Gurnam was evacuated immediately to the Jammu Government Medical College where his condition remained critical.

Pakistani spy arrested in Ramgarh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid escalating tension on the border, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police arrested a milkman-turned-spy of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) from the Ramgarh sector on Saturday. Besides, the security forces busted a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) module and arrested two militants involved in the attack on an army convoy in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.Police sources said milkman Bodh Raj (42) was arrested on the basis of specific intelligence inputs regarding his espionage activities along the International Border (IB). Police recovered two Pakistani SIM cards, two mobile phones, a memory card and maps showing movement and deployment of the security forces.Sources said Bodh Raj, a resident of Arnia, was under surveillance for the last four months. “Once we were confident that he was involved in espionage, we arrested him. He developed some health complications and was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with typhoid,” said a police officer.”He was passing on vital information to Pakistan regarding troop deployment and movement,” said another officer. Police are also interrogating him for his possible role in facilitating infiltration from across the border.Meanwhile, security forces busted a JeM module and arrested two top ultras — Safeer Ahmad Bhat and Farhaan Fayaz Liloo — in a joint operation by the police, army and CRPF at Baramulla.”This Jaish module is headed by a Pakistani terrorist, operating by the code name of Khalid. This module, along with the arrested duo, was involved in a terrorist attack on army and police convoy on August 16, in which two army men and one policeman were killed,” said Imtiyaz Hussain, SSP Baramulla.

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