Officer among 4 BSF personnel killed in Pakistan Rangers firing

June 20, 2018 | Brainwave Science

Situation

Four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, including an officer, were killed and three others wounded in unprovoked firing by Pakistan Rangers along the International Border (IB) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, a senior BSF officer said today.

This is the second major ceasefire violation along the IB this month and came despite Director General Military Operations (DGMO) of the two countries agreeing, on May 29, to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit” and a sector commander-level (BSF DIG-Rangers Brigadier) meeting here on June 4 to ensure peace by “holding fire” along the IB.

“Pakistan Rangers opened cross-border firing along IB in Ramgarh sector last night. We have lost four of our personnel, including an assistant commandant rank officer, while other 3 of our personnel suffered injuries,” IG, BSF (Jammu Frontier) Ram Awtar told PTI.

He said Pakistan Rangers and the BSF had recently agreed to ensure ceasefire along the IB but the former violated it by initiating cross-border firing. In a tweet, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid expressed his condolence over the incident.

“In Ramgarh Jammu sector of IB, 4 BSF personnel were martyred including one Asstt. Commandant & 5 injured due to firing from across. Our heart goes to those who lost their dear ones,” he said. The firing from across the border in Chamliyal post area of Ramgarh sector started around 10.30 pm yesterday and continued till 4.30 am, a police official said, requesting anonymity.

The BSF troops also fired in retaliation, the official said. On June 3, 2018 two BSF personnel, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector, were killed and 10 innocents, mostly civilians, injured in heavy shelling and firing by Pakistan Rangers along the IB in Pragwal, Kanachak and Khour sectors.

J&K witnessed over 700 ceasefire violations this year, starting from January. A total of 11 BSF personnel were killed and 37 injured. Of 50 persons killed this year, 24 were security personnel. Last month, thousands of people residing along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts had to escape their homes following severe shelling from Pakistan between May 15 and May 23 which left 12 people dead, including two BSF jawans and an infant, and scores of others injured.

After the DGMOs of the two countries spoke to each other, hope rekindled among border residents who had started returning to their homes but the latest incident left them with no hope.

On June 4, the border-guarding forces of India and Pakistan met at the Octroi post here and held a 15-minute meeting during which both sides decided to “develop confidence” between them.

The Pakistanian side assured that they would not initiate any cross-border firing and the BSF reciprocated by saying that it would only retaliate when provoked. -PTI

Challenge

In today’s world, borders have become more penetrable, facilitating terrorist entry, violence, and other criminal acts. Authorities are finding it laborious to patrol the border when firing at the IB is unannounced at nation’s borders. There are a lot of threats at the border of a country, from terrorists who may have weapons of mass destruction to transnational organized crime such as trafficking, money laundering or counterfeiting, to unauthorized migrants intending to illegally live and work in a specific country.

 For the recent violation of the ceasefire agreement between India/Pakistan borders, there is a major uncertainty regarding the identity of the group responsible for the latest shootout, As Pakistan denies that they didn’t initiate provoking firing at the IB, the impracticality of identifying the responsible is challenging the Border Security Force for India.

The primary strategy of the Border Security Force in India is to secure both internal and external borders through the ability to objectively screen a person, terrorist, using a knowledge-based form of identification.

The popular security methods in place, such as wire fences, surveillance camera, drones and others are useful in protecting external borders, but are very time and cost consuming. A holistic and integrated approach is essential to hinder, prevent, detect, and respond to complex threat networks. How can Border Security Forces in India be prepared in future irrespective of any agreement?

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Source
ThePrint
TimesOfIndia

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