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SOURCE: Hindustan Times

A top BSF official on Sunday blamed Pakistan for violating the 2003 ceasefire agreement without any provocation and using heavy weapons on Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir on November 13, inflicting damages on life and property of Indian forces as well as civilians.

The Indian Army and the BSF paid tributes to four army men and a BSF officer who were killed in different sectors of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts in the shelling by Pakistan army on Friday. Four civilians including a woman and a seven-year-old boy were also killed in the exchange of firing in Uri, Naugam, Keran and Gurez sectors.

“Without any reason, Pakistan indulged in ceasefire violation using heavy artillery which prompted us to respond. We have also suffered some damage including the martyrdom of sub-inspector Rakesh Dobhal,” said Inspector General of BSF, Rajesh Mishra, after paying tributes to his slain colleague.

The BSF said Pakistan started unprovoked ceasefire violations on the LoC on November 13, using artillery, mortars and other weapons targeting even the civilian areas.

Dobhal, a 2004 batch sub inspector from BSF’s artillery regiment, was hit in the firing in Naugam sector of Kupwara. He is survived by his parents, wife and a daughter, who all live in district Dehradun (Uttrakhand).

“Pakistan used heavy weapons in this firing which was without any provocation. BSF and army responded fearlessly but in the firing, army jawans were also killed as well as a lot of damage was inflicted on civilians including civilian casualties,” Mishra said.

Army also paid tributes to its slain men; Havildar Hardhan Chandra Roy (38) from Assam, Naik Satai Bhushan Rameshrao (28) from Nagpur, Gunner Subodh Ghosh (22) from West Bengal and Sepoy Jondhale Rushikesh Ramchandra (20) from Maharashtra, who gave their lives on November 13.

In a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt, Lt Gen BS Raju, Chinar Corps Commander, and all ranks paid homage to the soldiers who had received splinter injuries in Uri and Gurez sectors.

The IG BSF said that the forces responded fiercely during the violation.

“In our befitting response, Pakistan defenses were also hit and I understand they have suffered a lot of damages,” he said.

Pakistan media quoting Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has blamed India for the ceasefire violation on November 13. It has said that a Pakistani army soldier and four civilians were killed in Indian firing on Friday.

The BSF officer said that militants were waiting on launching pads on the other side of LoC to infiltrate into the country.

“As per our inputs, the infiltrators are ready there on launching pads. Around 250-300 are present on each launching pad and make every effort to infiltrate into the country and target the internal security here but army and BSF have remained successful to a large extent in thwarting those efforts,” Mishra said.

India and Pakistan, who have fought at-least three wars since 1947, had agreed in 2003 to maintain peace along the border, but violations intensified after bilateral relations plummeted in 2016. India often accuses Pak of violating the ceasefire to give cover to infiltrating militants.