Jammu/Visakhapatnam, Aug 23 IANS | 23 days ago

Two people were killed and seven others injured early Saturday in heavy firing by Pakistan forces on BSF posts on the international border in Jammu and Kashmir's Jammu district, officials said. India asserted its troops will respond to ceasefire violations.


A police officer told IANS that two villagers, identified as Muhammad Akram and his 13-year-old son Aslam were killed and seven people including Akram's wife, his three children and a Border Security Force (BSF) constable were injured in heavy firing by the Pakistan Rangers in Jodafarm village of R.S. Pura sector. The firing was retaliated to by the BSF troopers.

Speaking in Visakhapatnam, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Indian Army will respond to ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Condemning the killing of civilians in the border areas in Pakistani firing, he said ceasefire violations by Pakistan were increasing but the BSF and the army guarding the international border and Line of Control respectively are effectively working and countering those acts.

"Our army is prepared to respond to each violation. The country has full faith that they (army) are effectively protecting both the territory and the national interest," Jaitley told the media after commissioning India's first indigenous stealth anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kamorta into the Indian Navy.

"The loss of civilian lives is considered condemnable even in war. During peace, it is even more condemnable."

Jammu Divisional Commissioner Shantanu later told IANS that firing with heavy weapons on 17 BSF border outposts in the R.S.Pura and Arnia sectors of the international border stopped in the afternoon.

"Firing stopped in these areas in the afternoon. About 1,000 people who left their villages close to the international border yesterday (Friday) are still camped in contingency accommodations provided by the state government.

"We are hopeful of their return to their villages soon. However, our contingency plans are ready to meet any eventuality in the future.

"We have around 25 villages those are close to the international border in Arnia area and contingency plans are in place to provide relief to these people if an emergency arises," he said.

All the injured people have been shifted to the Jammu Medical College for treatment.

Forced by Pakistan firing, more than 2,000 villagers from three villages close to the international border in R.S. Pura sector had Friday migrated to safer places leaving their homes and cattle behind.

Under the state government's contingency plan, the villagers have been temporarily accommodated in two government high school buildings and an Industrial Training Institute (ITI) building in R.S. Pura.

The divisional commissioner also held a meeting of senior officials including inspectors general of state police, BSF, senior officials of the intelligence agencies and provincial adminsitration in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, authorities have suspended the superintendent of the ITI for her failure to unlock the gates of the institute Friday for the villagers who had migrated to safety from three villages close to the international border in Arnia.

(Posted on 24-08-2014)

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