2 BSF troopers dead in Pakistani shelling, evacuation on border

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Jammu, June 3 (IANS) Two BSF troopers were killed and seven people injured on Sunday in indiscriminate Pakistani shelling and firing on the international border in Jammu and Kashmir, forcing authorities to evacuate hundreds of villagers.

Assistant Sub-Inspector S.N. Yadav and Constable V.K. Pandey of the Border Security Force (BSF) were killed in the violation of the 2003 truce in Akhnoor sector’s Pargwal sub-sector, police said. The area affected involved 30 villages and 10 BSF outposts.

“Six civilians and a BSF trooper who were injured have been shifted for treatment to the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu city,” a police officer said.

Pakistani shells landed deep inside the Indian territory in Pargwal and Kanachak sub-sectors.

Police employed bulletproof vehicles at many places to evacuate civilians to safer places as panic spread.

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The Pakistani firing and shelling started around 3.30 a.m. After the Indian troops retaliated, firing exchanges continued till 10 a.m.

Sunday’s clashes come just five days after the Director Generals Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries agreed to implement the 2003 ceasefire pact earnestly in a bid to ensure peace on both the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

After the clashes halted in Akhnoor sector, residents of over 30 villages came out of their homes to take stock of the losses suffered by their homes, cattle and farm land.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said it was unfortunate that Pakistan resorted to firing and shelling after agreeing to implement the ceasefire.

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“People are dying on both sides of the border… Talks between the two DGMOs must be immediately started to bring calm to the borders,” she said.

Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta visited some of the affected villages and also met the injured civilians in the hospital.

Shopkeepers opened shops in the afternoon.

Informed sources here said that the BSF retaliation had caused heavy damages on the Pakistani side.

–IANS

sq/mr/him

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