Flag meeting between BSF and Pak Rangers after firing ‘issue’ on IB

Flag meeting between BSF and Pak Rangers after firing ‘issue’ on IB

Two days after intense border firing and fresh tension in the bordering villages, India and Pakistan Saturday held a flag meeting along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.

A BSF spokesman told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that a wing commander - commandant level flag meeting was held between BSF and Pakistan Rangers at Border Out Post (BOP) Octroi in Suchetgharh sector of Jammu.

He said that the BSF delegation leader lodged a strong protest to Pakistan Rangers for unprovoked firing in the Arnia area in the night intervening 26/27 Oct 2023.

The meeting ended in a cordial atmosphere to maintain peace and tranquillity on the International border.

The spokesman further added that during the meeting, officers of both the border guarding forces, inter alia, discussed various issues including incidents of firing on International Border, presence of suspects in border areas and other routine issues related to border management, sources said.

Earlier on October 26 and 27 Pakistan Ranger unproved targeted several BSF posts and civilian areas in Arnia and Suchetgharh sector.

Pak rangers exchange fire, small arms fire and mortar shelling at frequent intervals.  Two BSF troopers and a civilian woman were injured in the firing.

Pakistani Rangers resorted to small arms firing and mortar shelling at various places along the international border in Arnia and RS Pura sectors in Jammu and Kashmir, which stopped around 3.00 am in the morning leaving three people injured and damage to several homes and cattle sheds. The BSF said they retaliated in a befitting manner.

A BSF spokesperson said that troops retaliated to unprovoked firing by Pakistan rangers.

Meanwhile, the unprovoked ceasefire violation, which comes after nearly two and a half years, forced many locals to leave their houses and migrate to safer places though the paddy crop in the region is ready for harvest. Agricultural labourers who had come from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for harvesting work also fled following the shelling from across the border.

Large number of crowds were seen at petrol pumps to fill petrol in vehicles and bikes. Apart from this, the laborers who had come to harvest paddy in the border villages also fled these days. The workers said that they would stay somewhere near the bus stand or railway station in the city but now they are afraid of going to the border village. On the other hand, the concern of farmers has also increased because paddy is yet to be harvested in around 25 border panchayats.

Farmers say that earlier the paddy crop was damaged due to rain and now Pakistan's nefarious act will cause huge financial loss to them. They said that due to heavy shelling, no movement will be allowed on the border for the next several days.

However, the health department geared up to deal with any situation. Dr. Rohit Kumar, Medical Officer, Primary Health Center Arnia said all the doctors were called on the information of firing. The injured have been referred to Jammu after proper first aid. Every kind of treatment facility is available. These injuries have been referred only for surgery because surgery facilities are not available here.

This was the second ceasefire incident in the month at Arnia.

Following the killing of a number of villagers and large-scale destruction of civilian property on both sides, the BSF and Pakistani Rangers had in February 2021 agreed to maintain a ceasefire along the border. Barring a few sporadic incidents, peace prevailed. However, on October 17, two BSF personnel were injured in unprovoked firing by Pakistani Rangers in the Arnia sector. The BSF approached Pakistan Rangers and lodged a strong protest on the matter

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