Eleven BSF troops have been killed in cross-border firing incidents along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir till date in 2018, the highest casualty figure for the border force in a year in the last five years, a latest data revealed.
Four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, including an Assistant Commandant-rank officer, were killed in a similar incident in the Ramgarh sector of Jammu today alone.
As per the data accessed by PTI, over 320 ‘unprovoked’ firing incidents have taken place this year till date, leading to the killing of 11 BSF personnel and injuring 37 others.
In comparison to this, a total of 111 unprovoked cross-border firing instances took place last year along this front (Jammu IB) while the figures were 204 incidents (in 2016), 350 (in 2015) and 127 during 2014.
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Two BSF personnel were killed and seven injured due to sniping and mortar shelling last year while three BSF personnel were killed and 10 injured in such incidents in 2016.
Similarly, a BSF man was killed and five were injured in 2015 and two of its men were killed while 14 were injured in 2014.
Today, Assistant Commandant Jitendra Singh (34), Sub-inspector Rajneesh Kumar (32), Constable Hansraj Gurjar (28) and Assistant SI Ram Niwas (52) were killed when unprovoked firing, using both precision weapons and mortars, was launched from the Asraf post of the Pakistan Rangers.
Officials said while ASI Ram Niwas, manning the ‘morcha’ (observation post), was hit first from the cross-fire, the rest three were killed in the subsequent mortar firing, as they were trying to evacuate the ASI.
“Amidst ongoing fire during evacuation a mortar shell fired from Pakistan side exploded and injured the evacuation party,” a BSF spokesperson said.