Infiltration bid foiled at Jammu and Kashmir border (Lead)

May 9th, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by admin  

Jammu/New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) The Border Security Force Friday lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani Rangers over an infiltration bid Thursday night by more than 12 militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba sector and a heavy firing from the Pakistani side. The Pakistani Rangers during a flag meeting, however, denied any involvement of their men in fire cover to the militants, according to BSF officials. The flag meeting was held in Suchetgarh sector.

The BSF has asked the Pakistani Rangers to ensure that these kinds of incidents do not recur in the interest of cordial relations and calm on the borders.

Earlier, BSF Deputy Inspector General J.B. Sangwan told mediapersons that the BSF would lodge a protest with Pakistan Rangers.

The BSF said in a heavy fire of AK rifles from across the border in the Samba sector, more than 1,000 rounds were fired. The trail of the empties was found running toward the Pakistani side.

These issues have been brought to the notice of the Pakistan Rangers, the BSF officials said.

Sangwan claimed the BSF thwarted the infiltration bid.

A group of nearly a dozen infiltrators was sighted by BSF troops guarding the 187-km India-Pakistan border at 10.40 p.m. Thursday, said Sangwan.

“When the infiltrators were challenged, they opened fire. There was back-up fire as well. We didn’t know if that was from the group of infiltrators or Pakistani Rangers,” Sangwan told IANS.

“We retaliated and it lasted for 15-20 minutes,” he said, adding that the intruders ran back into Pakistani territory.

Asked if this meant that there was a breach of ceasefire, holding on since Nov 26, 2003, the BSF officer said: “We don’t have evidence that Pakistani Rangers were involved in the fire. So I cannot say anything on this issue.”

Sources in the national capital confirmed at least 1,000 rounds of bullets were exchanged between the 112 battalion of the BSF and the suspected militants.

“The militants also hurled at least 16 grenades at the BSF post. None of our troopers was injured in the firing. We have lodged a formal protest with Pakistani Rangers and asked them to check the incident and casualties on their side,” a senior BSF official told IANS.

“We are not sure whether these suspected militants or traffickers were enjoying Pakistani Rangers’ support,” the official added.

“The Pakistani Rangers have denied any truce breach on the Indo-Pakistan border during the nearly 15 minutes meeting,” the official added.

The police have mounted extra vigil in the border areas as a “precaution”.

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