Jammu/Bengaluru, Jan 1: In a fresh ceasefire violation along the International Border(IB), Pakistan Rangers targeted 13 border outposts in Samba sector in Jammu and Kashmir, drawing a strong retaliation from the BSF with a warning today they should be prepared for collateral damages.
As the BSF mulled lodging a strong protest with Pakistan over the fresh violations, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said Islamabad does not seem to learn any lesson, a day after four Pakistani rangers were killed in a sharp counter-attack following the death of an Indian jawan in cross-border firing.
"Pakistan does not like to stay quiet even on New Year day. They started (cross-border) firing at 12.30 pm and don't seem to learn (any) lesson," Parrikar said at an event in Bengaluru.
In an obvious reference to Pakistan and China, he also said, "We are surrounded in northern boundaries by two neighbours who are not very comfortable with us. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said that BSF and other security forces are prepared to give Pakistan a "fitting reply".
Today's incident was the third ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the IB in the past three days and seventh in the last eight days.
"They (Pakistan) have violated the norms on international border. We are going to lodge strong protest to them (over ceasefire violation)," Inspector General of Border Security Force (BSF) Rakesh Sharma told reporters in Jammu.
Sharma said Pakistani rangers resorted to firing on 12 to 13 BoPs along the IB in Samba sector overnight. "The BSF also retaliated, resulting in exchanges which continued till 0600 hours today, the IG said, adding, "There was no casuality or injury to anyone in today's firing."
Asserting that BSF never fires "first" towards the Pakistan side along the IB, Sharma said the neighbouring country should be ready to suffer collateral damages if the Indian side retaliates.
"If Pakistan rangers fire on us, we will also fire on them. If they suffer collateral damages (in our action), they (Pakistan) should be ready for that," he said.
Sharma also said that there are about 50-60 terrorists at the launch pads on the other side waiting at the IB. Security measures have been intensified on the Indian side to check any untoward incident. he added.
"Our jawans are protecting the border with all their might. No one can dare cast an evil eye on India. Even if someone tries to do so, BSF and other security forces will give them a fitting reply," Rajnath Singh told reporters in Delhi.
The Home Minister, however, said Pakistan should desist from such violations and officials of both the countries have been in touch over the issue.
"Pakistan should not do this. Diplomats of both the countries remain in constant touch," Singh said, adding normalcy will return soon.