Ceasefire Violations Done to Aid Undesirable Elements: BSF

Border Security Force (BSF) today said repeated ceasefire violations across the border in Jammu and Kashmir are being done at the behest of Pakistan to facilitate infiltration of "undesirable" elements into the Indian territory.

"One of the reasons or ploy on their (Pakistan's) part is for doing infiltration because on many occasions we have noticed movement of some undesirable elements across the borders. We feel that this is one of the reasons why they are doing the cross-border firing," BSF Director General D K Pathak told reporters here.

The government, during the recent Parliament session, had said that Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed has been holding rallies which were "highly critical of India" in proximity to Line of Control and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.

"In the recent past Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Amir Jammat-ud-Dawa (JUD), has visited a number of places along the International Border and Line of Control," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

Pathak, who has visited the border areas in the last few days, said that over the last one month there have been about 8-9 ceasefire violations and unprovoked firings from the other side.

"No doubt that Pakistan is behind all this. They are encouraging this because infiltration is from their side only. If Pakistan is not helping then there is no possibility of infiltration from their side to our side," the BSF chief said.

Pathak, who has taken over the reins of the country's largest border guarding force in April, said the "first fire" always comes from the other side and once it is launched, Indian troops begin wreaking havoc on Pakistani positions.

"In the the last one month there have been repeated attempts of cross border firing and there is always a first fire from their side. Let me tell you, whenever there is fire from their side we retaliate much more than what they are doing to us. I think the damage caused on the other side is much more than what is done on our side," the DG said.

He said these incidents, which have been happening quite often, in the last few days is not a new development.

"There is nothing new of cross border firing on the international border. Last year also, almost about a month and almost every day, this sort of incidents were taking place and this year also in last over one month about 8-9 incidents have taken place," he said.

The DG said as snow melts in the summer season and border passes get cleared, the crossing of the border becomes easier.

"Every year during this season there are repeated attempts on the part of different militant groups to cross over to India. So, this is one of those kinds that is happening now," he said.

He said the instructions to his men is to give a muh-tod jawaab or a befitting reply to the other side.

"The instructions for our men are (to launch) equal or more fire. We just can't do less fire...It is equal or more fire. We will give them muh-tod jawaab," Pathak said.

Earlier in Srinagar, Inspector General of BSF (Kashmir Frontier) P S Sandhu told reporters on the sidelines of a function that militants in training camps in PoK were getting desperate to infiltrate into Kashmir before the onset of winter in the Valley.

"It (firing along the LoC) is a desperate attempt to help inimical elements, the militants, to cross across (to this side of LoC)," he said.

"There has been perceptible change in weather and few of our forward defence lines have also reported snowfall. Desperation levels are increasing, training camps in PoK are full, efforts will be increased (to infiltrate) and they will face failure. We will face them with determination and maintain vigil along the LoC," Sandhu said.

The BSF official said there have been violations of the ceasefire along LoC, which are being retaliated adequately.

"We received heavy machine gun fire from across which was more than adequately retaliated by the BSF and other agencies. Where ever there is firing at night, there is an encounter in the morning as the militants get trapped or there are blood stains and foot marks leading back across the LoC," he said.

Sandhu said BSF all along the LoC in Kashmir frontier is fully geared to take on any attempts of infiltration.

Referring to two attacks on BSF personnel in Pulwama district of south Kashmir during last week, Sandhu said, "We are not involved in counter insurgency operations in Kashmir. But we have taken all the precautionary measures which we have to take."

"The boys have been told not to retaliate in heavily built up areas to avoid collateral damage. BSF is committed to protect lives of people of Kashmir and if they have to shed their blood for it, they are more than willing to do it," he added.

Two BSF personnel were killed and four other injured in a militant attack on Saturday at Qoil in while eight personnel were injured in another attack at Pampore.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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