Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), Nov 30: Pakistan Rangers were “totally unexplainable” and gave excuses when confronted on violating the ceasefire agreement in Samba on November 9, in which a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan was killed, Border Security Force (BSF) Director General (DG) Nitin Agarwal said on Thursday.
On the sideline of the annual press conference the BSF chief said, “Our job is to retaliate every time they (Pakistan Rangers) fire, and we do that. We did it on these three occasions.”
“Our effort is not to create provocation. We don’t provoke. If they fire at us, we definitely return the fire. So, that’s what we did,” Agarwal said.
In the flag meeting, the DG said, “We made it clear that we are not going to tolerate this.”
“You (Pakistan Rangers) must not do this. This was an International Border. This was not even LC. So, it was totally unexplainable why they fired. Probably, they must have some internal issues for which they were trying to gain some accolades in terms of Army victory or something like that,” the BSF chief mentioned.
Asked if any precautionary measures were being taken after the ceasefire violation to avoid casualties, Agarwal said, “We are sometimes exposed to the enemy in our movement in the camp, in the Border Outposts. We are trying to minimise that. We don’t present any opportunity to them.”
Addressing the press conference, he also said, “The jury is still out on why they violated the ceasefire. When we raised the issue with them (Pak Rangers) during a flag meeting, they did not have answers and gave excuses.”
Agarwal said a befitting response was given to the unprovoked firing resulting in casualties on the Pakistani side.
“We gave a befitting reply to the unprovoked firing and there were casualties on the Pakistani side. I want to assure you that the border is completely secure,” he said.
Earlier, a BSF jawan, head constable Lal Fam Kima, was killed after Pakistan Rangers opened unprovoked firing from automatic weapons along the International Border (IB) in the Ramgarh sector of Samba district on November 9. This was the third major ceasefire violation by the Pakistan Ranger, since October 17. Overall, Pakistani forces have violated the ceasefire at least four times this year.
The BSF later lodged a strong protest with the Pakistan Rangers over the unprovoked firing and mortar shelling on forward posts and villages along the International Border.
The decision to recommit to the 2003 ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan was taken after a meeting between the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan on February 24-25, 2021.
In 2021, 72 such cross-border firing incidents were recorded at the international border and Line of Control (LoC), but most were before the two sides agreed to hold the ceasefire.
Prior to this, incidents of cross-border firing on patrolling troops, villagers, the Indian army and BSF forward posts were recorded every year in thousands. In 2020, close to 5,133 incidents of ceasefire violations- the highest since 2003, while 3,479 violations were registered in 2019 when the Indian government revoked Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir
Agrawal was speaking to reporters during the annual press meet at the Border Security Force camp in the Meru area of Hazaribag in Jharkhand on the eve of the 59th Raising Day of the force.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will attend the BSF’s 59th Raising Day event in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh and take the salute of the ceremonial parade here on Friday. (Agencies)