AMRAIZ KHAN and Zafar Malik
SIALKOT/LAHORE - A Pakistani citizen was martyred while four others including three women were injured seriously due to intensified shelling by Indian security forces on Sialkot border villages in the wee hours of Sunday.
Pasrur Assistant Commissioner Tauqeer Ilyas Cheema, after visiting the Indian shelling-hit Sialkot border villages, told the newsmen here that the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) started intense shelling on the border villages of Harpal, Thathi Khurd, Theekariyaal, Jarwal and Charwah around 1am, when people were busy in Sehari for observing fast.
He said several heavy mortar shells fired by the Indian forces hit the houses' outer walls, while, some shells hit the house of local farmer Muhammad Iqbal, 45, in village Thathi Khurd-Pasrur, killing him on the spot. Some Indian shells also hit the house of Muhammad Ansar in village Harpal-Pasrur, seriously injuring his wife Zahida Ansar, 45, daughter Rabia Ansar, 17, and son Nouman Ansar, 19. Another woman, Azra Bibi, wife of Muhamamd Afzal was injured in the same village, the AC added.
The Indian shelling remained continued for about two and half hours. Three buffaloes, a donkey and a dog were also killed in the shelling. Rescue 1122 officials shifted the injured to Combine Military Hospital where their condition was stated to be critical.
On the other hand, the senior officials of the Chenab Rangers said their soldiers responded instantly and effectively, making the Indian army's guns silent. It was the fifth incident of Indian shelling on Sialkot border villages during the last four days. On Wednesday, a Pakistani farmer Zain Ali was seriously injured by indiscriminate Indian shelling on border villages in Charwah Sector of Sialkot Working Boundary.
The unprovoked shelling, however, created harassment and panic in the border villages. Pasrur AC revealed that dozens of houses were damaged by Indian shelling. MNA Ch Armughan Subhani and MPA Tariq Akhtar Subhani strongly condemned the Indian shelling on Sialkot border villages. They said the Indian forces targeted the civilian population and fired dozens of mortar shells, besides firing with light machine guns.
A Rangers spokesman said that it was third time during current year when BSF violated the ceasefire. On the nights of July 17, and 18 also violation was committed by BSF soldiers wherein four innocent citizens were injured and few animals were also killed.
Statistics gathered by The Nation regarding violations and casualties from the year 2011 to uptil now shows that Indian BSF has committed 76 violations of ceasefire and killed three citizens and injured 48 others.
Reasons behind the violation were to keep away the attention of world community from Kashmir issue and to take advantage of Israel-Palestine issue.
Defence analysts were of the view that it could also be to facilitate border crossers/suspects into Pakistan territory.
An officer of Pakistan Rangers Punjab seeking anonymity said that the suicidal rate is very high in BSF may be due to tense organisational environment, economic and family issues.
BSF every year in the month of Holy Ramzan starts unprovoked firing on Pakistan Ranger’s posts and villages which results in many human, animal and other property losses.
During last four years 42 villages were hit by BSF fire in five sectors along the Pakistan-India Border.
In Chaprar/Bajwat Sector villages included 1. Kotli Dil Patian 2. Jangulara 3. Kachi Mane 4. Patoli 5. Dera 6. Bhour 7. Jumbian 8. Chaprar 9. Turn Goth 10. Chuechack 11. Patwal 12. Surgpur. Mearajkey / Pasrur Sector , 1. Molana 2. Vains 3. Ghug 4. Thathi 5. Mindarwal 6. Bherowal 7. Umrianwali 8. Joje 9. Bajra Ghari 10. Salian 11. Morcha Pur 12. Jahmat 13. Khan Pur 14. Bhud Wal 15. Charwa 16. Dhamala 17. Sakrori 18. Saidianwali .
In Shakargarh Sector 1. Lehri 2. Tanda 3. Dhandar 4. Bhure Chak 5. Sugral 6. Samrhial 7. Tughal Pura 8. Gopal Pura 9. Sukmal 10. Nangal 11. Bika Chak 12. Thakar Pura 13. Abial Dogar village.
Agencies add: India has deployed nearly 2,000 additional BSF personnel and special surveillance equipment along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region. The additional manpower, surveillance equipment, vehicles and other infrastructure support have been moved into the LOC to strengthen intelligence network, coordination with sister agencies and conduct special operations along the border, Hindustan Times said in a report on Sunday.
The Indian newspaper reported Home Ministry officials as saying that vulnerability mapping of the Border Out Posts (BOPs), which are sensitive with regard to infiltration, have been carried out and the additional resources have been deployed there. Continuous efforts are being made to deploy the latest surveillance equipment, fully fitted with day and night vision devices, for further enhancing the border domination, the officials said.
The Indian Home Ministry has also directed for effective domination of the border by carrying out round-the-clock surveillance of the borders through patrolling, border ambushes and by deploying observation posts all along the international border. The riverine segments of international border is being patrolled and dominated with the help of water crafts and speed boats of BSF's water wings, the officials said.
‘MODI SHOULD TALK TO PAKISTAN’
Expressing concern over rising incidents of ceasefire violations, Occupied Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak to his Pakistani counterpart on the issue.
"I want the prime minister to talk to Pak authorities and tell them that ceasefire violations are not right," Omar told reporters in Jammu on Sunday.
Omar said, "Modi has good relations with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and they also communicate on Twitter. They should get this message across that ceasefire violations are not right."
Referring to China, Omar said, "We are not worried about China now because they don't harm us anymore. But ceasefire violations from Pakistan side are a matter of great concern to us."
There has been loss of life, cattle and damage to property due to Pak firing, which has caused problems for us here, he said.
AMRAIZ KHAN and Zafar Malik