" We are fully prepared to deal with any emergency situation resulting from ceasefire violations. While many people who had taken shelter at safer places have returned to their homes, some are still lodged at these government accommodations."
New Delhi/Jammu, Aug 24 - Security forces guarding the Line of Control (LoC) and the international border in Jammu and Kashmir have been ordered to give befitting reply to Pakistan for ceasefire violations, officials said Sunday.

India is strongly responding to the firing from Pakistan, Border Security Force (BSF) Director General D.K. Pathak said in a press conference in Delhi.

The BSF is effectively and strongly responding to the firing and will continue to do so. Our volume and intensity of target fire is more effective than theirs (Pakistan), Pathak said.

Rakesh Kumar, inspector general of the BSF (frontier), said in Jammu: We are under clear orders to give befitting reply to Pakistan ceasefire violations to put an end to these.

Addressing the media at the frontier headquarters of the BSF, he said: Since July 16, Pakistani forces have violated the ceasefire 30 times. In R.S. Pura sector alone, there have been 25 ceasefire violations by Pakistan Rangers during this period.

The inspector general said the Pakistan Army was supporting the ceasefire violations by the Rangers on the international border.

Pakistan Army wants to get Pakistan media coverage in order to shift the focus from the internal crisis in their country this time, Kumar said.

He said these violations have assumed serious proportion as they threaten the daily life of the people living close to the international border and also result in damage to the crops in the fields on the Indian side.

Earlier, the BSF chief said the Pakistani media reported that five people have been killed and 16 others injured on their side, while on our side, two people were killed and seven others have been injured.

A BSF official, on condition of anonymity, told IANS: Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants have been killed in the retaliatory fire by the BSF at opposite border outpost in R.S. Pura.

He said their repeated requests to hold flag meeting with Pakistan Rangers has not been responded by their counterparts till now.

We have sent a number of 'protest notes' to the Pakistan Rangers over these firings. The last one was sent last (Saturday) night, Pathak said.

The BSF said Pakistan Rangers again started unprovoked firing Saturday around 10 p.m. on 25 BSF Border Out Posts (BoPs) of R.S. Pura, Jammu and Akhnoor area.

The Pakistan Rangers from Jamshed, Labaik, Malane, Kaseera, Ghug and many other BoPs opened heavy firing targetting BSF BoPs and civilian areas.

Meanwhile, Jammu province divisional commissioner Shantmanu told IANS that Pakistan Rangers usually violate ceasefire during the night in order to create panic and fear among the innocent residents of border villages.

We are fully prepared to deal with any emergency situation resulting from ceasefire violations. While many people who had taken shelter at safer places have returned to their homes, some are still lodged at these government accommodations.

We are doing everything possible to provide relief to people still lodged inside safe accommodations away from their villages, Shantmanu said.


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