Border flare-up: Four civilians killed in Indian shelling

Published: January 6, 2015
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Pakistan last week summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner to lodge a strong protest over the killing
of two Rangers personnel. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan last week summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner to lodge a strong protest over the killing of two Rangers personnel. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

Four Pakistani civilians were killed in fresh ‘unprovoked firing and heavy shelling’ by India’s Border Security Force (BSF) in the Zafarwal and Shakargarh sectors along the Sialkot Working Boundary on Monday, the military said. The BSF is said to have suffered ‘heavy losses’ in the retaliatory fire from Pakistani troops.

The BSF resorted to ‘planned intense unprovoked’ firing and heavy shelling on civilian population in the villages of Sukhmall, Bheke Chak and Bhurey Chak, the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a statement.

At least four civilians, including a teenage boy and a woman, were killed in the Indian firing, it added. The two of the deceased were identified as Azeem, 18, from Bore Chak and Mrs Mubarak Ali from Sukhmall village.

“A total of four civilians (were martyred) this evening due to Indian BSF shelling on civilian population,” the ISPR said. “Pakistan Rangers are effectively responding to India’s (unprovoked) firing,” it added. There was no immediate reaction from the Indian government.

Earlier in the day, Indian police said that a BSF soldier was killed on Monday in a separate exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani forces along the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Himalayan state of Kashmir.

“A BSF constable who was injured in the firing from Pakistan in the Hiranagar sector this [Monday] afternoon has died,” Rajesh Kumar, the police chief for the region said. He claimed that the Indian side retaliated after coming under fire from Pakistani rockets in the Samba sector, around 350 kilometres south of Srinagar.

However, according to sources there were reports that the BSF suffered ‘heavy losses’ in the retaliatory fire from Pakistani border guards.

This was the 6th ceasefire violation by Indian forces since December 31. Last week Pakistan summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner to lodge a strong protest over the killing of two Rangers personnel after calling them for a flag meeting on their side of the border.

PM’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also wrote a letter to India’s external affairs minister demanding investigation and ‘exemplary punishment’ for those who were responsible for the latest incident along the working boundary.

However, the Indian government rejected the Pakistani allegations. In her written response to the letter sent by Aziz on Friday, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “We cannot accept any of the contentions made in your letter.” She claimed that a BSF patrol had come under fire from a Pakistani border post in the area, which had resulted in the death of an Indian soldier and serious injuries to another, and that had led to Indian troops opening ‘defensive fire’.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Chenab Rangers said two of its soldiers had been shot and wounded in the Zafarwal sector when they were invited for a flag meeting to discuss ceasefire violations and Indian firing had prevented medical care from reaching them.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • ashiq
    Jan 6, 2015 - 6:18AM

    keep on killing each other till the whole human race is dead!

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  • HZ
    Jan 6, 2015 - 7:21AM

    Killing a teenager and a woman on Pakistani side is nothing to be proud of… causing heavy losses to Indian side is nothing to be proud of either. Can you both just stop?!? It rips my heart to hear about needless civilian deaths no matter which side of the border!

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  • HZ
    Jan 6, 2015 - 7:25AM

    Killing a teenager and a woman on Pakistani side is nothing to be proud of… causing heavy losses to Indian side is nothing to be proud of either… cant you both just stop?!? I dont get the point of these needless civilian deaths!

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  • raider
    Jan 6, 2015 - 8:03AM

    “enemy at the gate”

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  • Jan 6, 2015 - 9:35AM

    Terrorists try to enter India . BSF fires at them . Rangers think BSF is firing at them . They fire back . All this is misunderstanding due to teorrorists

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  • Pity
    Jan 6, 2015 - 10:20AM

    @Arjun Singh:
    what is the use of the fence installed on the Indian side of the border?

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  • Sri Varahadev
    Jan 6, 2015 - 12:52PM

    @ Arjun Singh

    No misunderstanding at all. No “terrorist” can enter the border zone on Pakistan’s side without the nod of Pakistani security forces manning borders. The firing by Pakistani security forces is to provide cover for the terrorists to sneak into India.

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  • Sri Varahadev
    Jan 6, 2015 - 12:53PM

    Introspection time for Pakistan as to why three of her four neighbors, Iran, Afghanistan and India, from time to time have to resort to cross border firing that targets Pakistan.
    Introspection time for Pakistan also as to why these same three neighbors do not feel the need to indulge in similar cross border firing that targets their other neighbors like Turkmenistan and Armenia in Iran’s case, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in Afghanistan’s sake or Nepal and Myanmar in India’s case.
    Long past time for Pakistan’s civil polity to force their Punjabi Military dominated Deep State to realize that ceasing to provoke three neighbors into resorting to cross border firing that targets Pakistan will greatly benefit the people of Pakistan even if only by having one less problem to deal with in a nation beset with a host of pressing problems.

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  • Stranger
    Jan 6, 2015 - 1:24PM

    Children will both of you stop squabbling and use this new fangled instument called TALKS .

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