BSF jawan killed in ceasefire violation; infiltration bid foiled



JAMMU, May 15: A 28-year-old BSF jawan was killed as Pakistani troops fired at forward posts to push infiltrators across the International Border (IB) in the Samba sector, BSF chief K K Sharma said today.
The infiltration bid in the Manguchak border outpost area was scuttled by the alert personnel, Sharma told reporters after attending a wreath laying ceremony of the deceased jawan at the BSF headquarters here.
However, a search operation was on as a group of terrorists is suspected to have crossed the border in an another Pakistan-backed infiltration bid on Sunday night.
The latest ceasefire violation by Pakistani forces today comes barely four days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
The jawans at the Manguchak border outpost noticed suspicious movement last night and fired illuminated bombs before firing from Light Machine Guns (LMGs) on the infiltrators who, however, managed to flee away, Sharma said.
Suspicious movement was again noticed and the action was repeated by the alert personnel. But this time, Pakistani troops also fired and Constable Devender Singh Baghel, who was firing his LMG, was hit by a bullet, through the loophole, in the left eye. He was immediately evacuated to a hospital and later achieved martyrdom, Sharma said.
Earlier, a senior BSF official said that Pakistani rangers resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing around 11.30 pm last night and the heavy firing between the two sides continued for an hour.
The incident comes barely 24 hours after BSF noticed suspicious movement of a group of five persons, believed to be terrorists, along the IB in Hiranagar sector of nearby Kathua district, prompting a massive search operation and sounding of a high alert in Jammu.
Sharma said the presence of a group, comprising five members, was confirmed by high sensitive thermal imaging.
I am sure that they will be detected and neutralised, Sharma said.
"Two infiltration attempts were made along the international border since Sunday night. There is a possibility that a group of five (terrorists) managed to sneak into this side through a tunnel on Sunday night. We have not so far detected any tunnel but we are looking for it. The anti-tunneling exercise is going on, he said.
The Army pressed helicopters into service during the search operation which entered the second day on May 15, the official said.
The BSF jawan's death took the number of persons killed in over 700 incidents of Pakistani shelling along the IB and Line of Control (LoC) in the state to 33.
The deceased include 17 security personnel.
Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to arrive in Jammu and Kashmir on May 19.
There was a lull in firing along the IB over the past three months after intense border skirmishes in January and February. However, the frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan were going on along the LoC.
Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta, JK Director General of Police S P Vaid and other senior officers also today laid wreath at the coffin of the jawan whose body was later sent to his home town in Uttar Pradesh for last rites.
However, terming as very serious the attempts by Pakistani forces to push armed terrorists across the border ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Director General of Border Security Force (BSF) K K Sharma said today efforts were on to locate the infiltrators.
Five infiltrators sneaked into Hiranagar sector probably through a tunnel on Sunday night and efforts are on to detect and neutralise them, Sharma said.
Referring to the killing of a BSF jawan in firing from across the border, Sharma said the sacrifice would not go in vain and assured appropriate action against Pakistan.
Pakistan is our hostile neighbour and tries to push terrorists and violates ceasefire regularly. BSF does no initiate (ceasefire violations) from this side but whenever Pakistan initiates, we give them a befitting response, Sharma told reporters at the BSF headquarters here.
Referring to the latest incidents along the international border, Sharma said a group of five infiltrators may have sneaked in, while another attempt was scuttled.
There is a possibility that a group of five (terrorists) managed to sneak into this side through a tunnel on Sunday night. We have not so far detected any tunnel but are looking for it. The anti-tunneling exercise is going on, he said.
He said the presence of a group, comprised of five members, was confirmed through HSTI imagining. I am sure they will be detected and neutralized, the BSF chief added.
He said this (infiltration attempts and Pakistani firing) was a "very serious incident" because it had happened ahead of the scheduled visit of Prime Minister to the state on May 19.
"The BSF always gives a befitting reply to Pakistan. This time it is not going to be any exception. The martyrdom of our jawan will not go in vain and we will take appropriate action, he said.
Asked about intelligence reports suggesting presence of terrorists at launching pads across the border, he said there is no second thought that a lot of terrorists were present at the launching pads and Pakistan is attempting to push them into this side.
On a smart fencing project, he said it was nearing completion. I am hopeful that it will be in place either by this month end or in the first or second week of next month and it will be inaugurated by the Union Home minister, Sharma said.
We have planned to roll out the project to make the Pakistan border safer and secure and completely covered by the technology, he said.
Technology is a big advantage as humans cannot see beyond 100 meters or listen beyond 50 meters, he said.
After the induction of smart fencing, we can pick up enemy movement three kilometers away, he said.
After the completion of cultivation (season), sniping and cross border firing is a usual thing and the latest incidents are the part of this phenomenon," the BSF chief said.

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