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Black box of crashed BSF plane recovered

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According to reports, the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorders in the black boxes are being studied to know what transpired inside the cockpit and the passenger area before it crashed.

Investigators look at the remains of a small BSF plane that crashed outside the airport in New Delhi on Tuesday.

PTI
Black box of the Border Security Force (BSF) plane (B 200 Super King) which crashed through the boundary wall of the Delhi airport, was recovered in New Delhi, sources said.According to reports, the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorders in the black boxes are being studied to know what transpired inside the cockpit and the passenger area before it crashed. All the ten passengers onboard were killed after a Ranchi-bound BSF Superking aircraft crashed at Bagdola village in Sector 8, Dwarka here on Tuesday morning.Home Minister Rajnath Singh today paid tribute to BSF plane crash victims at the Safdarjung Airport. Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung also paid tribute to the victims.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed grief and distress on Wednesday at the loss of lives in the plane crash in the national capital. Earlier, President Pranab Mukherjee, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi had also condoled the loss of lives.The BSF had announced on Tuesday Rs. 20 lakhs to the BSF family members from BSF’s internal insurance fund in addition to what the government will announce.

BSF plane crash: Grieving relatives confront Union Home Minister Rajanth Singh

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A small 20-year-old BSF plane ferrying the force’s technical personnel to Ranchi crashed in Dwarka area on Tuesday and burst into flames just outside IGI airport shortly after take-off.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh extend his condolences to the family members of BSF plane crash victims at Safdarjung airport in New Delhi on Wednesday.

PTI
Tearful relatives of the victims of the BSF plane crash here that killed all 10 occupants confronted Union Minister Rajnath Singh today with a slew of questions including why “old aircraft” were being used and lives of troops put at risk.As Singh and mourning relatives bid adieu to victims amid grief and anger, the Border Security Force(BSF) chief D K Pathak maintained that its crashed Beechcraft Super King was completely “airworthy” and flying “very well” and rejected allegations about any possible defect in the 11-seater aircraft. A small 20-year-old BSF plane ferrying the force’s technical personnel to Ranchi crashed in Dwarka area on Tuesday and burst into flames just outside IGI airport shortly after take-off.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Why are old aircraft being used and lives of troops put at risk?” was one of the questions faced by Singh. A distraught and agitated daughter of Sub-Inspector Rabinder Kumar, who was among the 10 personnel killed in yesterday’s crash, asked Singh and BSF Director General D K Pathak to “address” these issues so that soldiers on the line of duty are not killed in such mishaps. “Jawab dijiye (give me an answer). Why only soldiers get killed in such accidents and it never happens to VIPs,” she asked as soon as Singh began meeting the families after paying tributes and placing floral wreaths on mortal remains of the victims.A composed and moist-eyed Home Minister consoled the young woman and assured that their grievances would be looked into as he said he would review each and every aspect that they have underlined. The silence of the foggy and wintry morning at the airstrip was broken when the family members, one by one, started wailing, and their screams rent the sombre air. The next of kin of other personnel who had come to pay their respects to their near and dear ones at the BSF hangar at Safdarjung airport here had more or less the same grievances and stories to tell.”My son-in-law told me that the planes in the BSF air wing are getting old and new ones are expected in sometime. I don’t know when will these new aircraft come but surely he will not be there to see them,” said the father-in-law of the co-pilot Rajesh Shivrain. The family members of another personnel said they were being told that the BSF fleet is growing old and new acquisition is stuck in “red tape”.”This is worrying, for us and everyone who is associated with this wing. We just want that a soldier’s life should not be put at stake by using old machines,” a family member of Assistant SI D P Chauhan said. BSF Director General D K Pathak said the ill-fated aircraft was 20 years old and in the aviation (domain) an aircraft has life till 40-45 years.He said the main probe into the crash is being done by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and that it would be “premature” to speculate on the possible reasons for the mishap. The BSF Chief said the plane B-200, registered as VT-BSA, was flying about 3-4 days in a week. “As I said, this aircraft has been flying very well…it had been flying three to four days in a week and there was absolutely no problem. Whenever any kind of a snag is reported it is promptly attended to and aircraft is not made airborne until it is certified by the technicians that it is worthy to fly,” he said.

Crashed plane was airworthy, was flying well: BSF

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Only two days back this aircraft did a good duty and a day back it had carried back officers from Bhuj (from the DG/IG meeting),” BSF Director General D K Pathak said.

The BSF on Wednesday said its crashed Superking aircraft that killed ten of its highly experienced personnel was completely “airworthy” and was flying “very well” as it refuted allegations about any possible defect in the ill-fated plane. “This aircraft was 20-years-old and in the aviation (domain) an aircraft has life till 40-45 years. In the aviation (domain) such a plane is not considered old as required parts are changed from time to time…like engines are overhauled. “A major overhauling of this aircraft’s engines was done at the Beachcraft factory in Canada about six months back.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Only two days back this aircraft did a good duty and a day back it had carried back officers from Bhuj (from the DG/IG meeting),” BSF Director General D K Pathak told reporters here. “There was no problem in the aircraft and it was completely airworthy. I would like to add that till the time an aircraft is airworthy, there is no problem in flying it,” he said. He was speaking after paying the ceremonial last tributes and placing of wreaths on the mortal remains of the ten personnel who were killed in the crash yesterday, at the Safdarjung airport here. The event was also attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Ministers of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary. He said the main probe into the crash is being done by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and that it would be “premature” to speculate on the possible reasons for the air mishap. The Border Security Force Chief said the plane B-200, registered as VT-BSA, was flying about 3-4 days in a week. “As I said, this aircraft has been flying very well…it had been flying three to four days in a week and there was absolutely no problem. Whenever any kind of a snag is reported it is promptly attended to and aircraft is not made airborne until it is certified by the technicians that it is worthy to fly,” he said. The plane, he said, was carrying the stipulated load yesterday and refuted reports that the crash had something to do with excess weight as a few personnel were asked to board it at the last moment. The plane had a capacity to carry 11 passengers, he said. “Even if there is a last moment change in the manifest (travelling passenger’s list) it doesn’t matter because it was carrying the prescribed and authorised load. So, there was no excess load. There was nothing of that sort…even if numbers were increased, it is immaterial. It (B-200) was carrying its required capacity,” he said.

Co-pilot of BSF plane was to attend daughter’s event at school

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Shivrain, a fitness and sports enthusiast, was the only officer of the border guarding force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) working in the Border Security Force air wing

Parts of the crashed plane

PTI
38-year-old Captain Rajesh Shivrain would have attended the school function of his young daughter on Tuesday had he not been co-piloting the ill-fated BSF aircraft that crashed after a short take-off in New Delhi.Shivrain, a fitness and sports enthusiast, was the only officer of the border guarding force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) working in the Border Security Force air wing and was reputed for having some deft hands at the flying machines, including on the Superking B-200 that he and his pilot colleague Deputy Commandant Bhagwati Prasad Bhatt was commandeering. The young officer’s two little kids Pradyumn and Pari were in school when their father was flying the BSF sortie to Ranchi carrying a team of six technicians and two others.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He was supposed to come back and go for his 5-year-old daughter’s school function in the evening. It is really tragic and the twist of fate that he met with the air accident,” a senior official said. They said as soon as the news of the air crash came in, the SSB rushed some of its men to fetch the children from school and look after the family. “He went down in the Dwarka area, kilometres away from where he lived,” the official said, adding that Shivrain lived in Sector-4 of Dwarka locality of the national capital.SSB Director General B D Sharma described Shivrain as a “good officer, brave, sensitive and physically very fit.” “It’s a sad day for us to have lost a very good officer,” Sharma said. Shivrain, who joined SSB in 2002 as an officer, was flying the plane with his batch-mate Bhatt, and, coincidentally both were born in 1977.A resident of Bhiwani, Shivrain joined the BSF air wing in the pilot rank in 2009 and was soon to be inducted permanently in this special unit of the Union Home Ministry. Senior officials of central police forces will pay their last respects to their fallen colleagues at the Safdarjung airport tomorrow after which the mortal remains of Shivrain will be brought to the SSB headquarters here and subsequently a ceremonial guard will take his body in a truck to his village in Haryana.

PM Modi, Sonia Gandhi express grief over BSF aircraft crash

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi also expressed shock and distress over tragic aircraft crash and conveyed her condolences to bereaved families.

BSF Superking aircraft crash site in Dwarka

ANI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed grief and distress at the loss of lives in the Border Security Force (BSF) plane crash in the national capital.”Pained by the loss of lives in the BSF plane crash in Delhi. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased,” Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet.Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi also expressed shock and distress over tragic aircraft crash and conveyed her condolences to bereaved families.Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in a tweet, said, “Extremely sad to learn of the BSF plane crash near Delhi airport. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.”In a tragic accident, all the ten passengers onboard were killed after a Ranchi-bound BSF Superking aircraft crashed at Bagdola village in Sector 8, Dwarka here in the national capital on Tuesday morning.Confirming the death toll, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism and Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said, “This is a very sad incident. All the passengers including the pilot have died in the crash. Investigation will be done to find the cause of the accident.” Home Minister Rajnath Singh has also reached the site where the plane had crashed.So far, four bodies have been recovered from the crash site.

BSF’s Superking aircraft crashes in Delhi’s Dwarka; all 10 on board killed

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The accident happened at around 9.50 am when the plane crashed into the airport boundary wall and landed in a sewage treatment plant while returning back due to apparent technical problem five minutes after it took off for Ranchi.

ANI
Ten people were killed when a small Ranchi-bound BSF Superking aircraft with two pilots and eight technicians on board crashed near Dwarka in Delhi shortly after take-off.The accident happened at around 9.50 am when the plane crashed into the airport boundary wall and landed in a sewage treatment plant while returning back due to apparent technical problem five minutes after it took off for Ranchi.The aircraft lost contact with the Air Traffic Control, at 9.50 am, they said.”All 10 onboard BSF plane that crashed in Dwarka dead,” said Civil Aviation Minister Mahesh Sharma.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eyewitnesses said the plane hit a wall before bursting into flames and then crashed into a water body.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the crash and has rushed to the crash site.Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain at the loss of lives in the BSF plane crash in Delhi.”The tragic news of BSF plane crash near IGI airport in New Delhi is extremely painful. Rushing to the crash site immediately,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweet.”We saw a plane spiralling down which crashed near the wall where work was going on. I could sport one body. A labourer who was working was also injured,” an eye witness Suraj told reporters.The area was engulfed in dense smoke and fire with pieces of aircraft spread around. Delhi Fire Service cheif A K Sharma said 15 tenders have rushed to the spot.An inquiry has been ordered by the Civil Aviation Ministry.(With agency inputs)

Additional BSF deployed to prevent illegal activities at Indo-Bangladesh borders, govt tells Supreme Court

The ministry of home affairs also informed the court that the government has approved the projects for border fencing and installation of floodlights for proper visibility during night in the border areas.

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that in order to prevent illegal cross-border activities at the Indo-Bangladesh borders, additional BSF personnel have been deployed.The ministry of home affairs also informed the court that the government has approved the projects for border fencing and installation of floodlights for proper visibility during night in the border areas.Filing an affidavit in response to a PIL against illegal Bangladeshi immigration, the government said 29 Border outposts have been identified and adequate men power have been deployed with special surveillance equipments, vehicles and othe infrastructure in support to prevent smuggling of cattles.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the court-appointed one-man commission had recommended a high-powered committee to inquire into various issues relating to infiltration.Senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika, who was appointed by the court in May, had submitted the 53-page report to the court suggesting the shifting of cattle ‘haats’ 20km away from the boundary area and re-location of the villages from the border fencing area.After visiting extensively to the border area, Hazarika submitted the report.Citing the causes leading to such influx into Assam, the report said as a Bangladeshi passport holder can not only own land in Assam but also contest an Assembly election, it shows that the illegal migrant lobby has struck deep roots in the state. Therefore, the necessity, for an independent investigation and an enquiry into these nexuses and all the facts in this regard, cannot be overstated.The court, which is hearing a plea about the threat of the indigenous population of Assam being reduced to a minority by the year 2047 looming large, is to take a call on the report on November 5.

Espionage racket: Four accused charged under Official Secrets Act

Besides these four accused, BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed was also produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal after expiry of their police remand and the court sent them to 14-days judicial custody after the investigating officer (IO) said they were not required for further custodial interrogation.
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dna Research & Archives
Delhi Police on Thursday told a court that four out of five accused arrested for allegedly supplying sensitive documents to ISI operatives had received money from Pakistan’s intelligence agency and charges under Official Secrets Act have been slapped against them.The crime branch of Delhi Police told the court that accused Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja had received Rs 30,000 from the ISI while constable of J&K Light Infantry unit Fareed Ahmad had got Rs 10,000. Similarly, arrested accused Munawwar Ahmad Mir, a former army personnel, had received Rs 40,000 while Mohd Sabar, a teacher by profession had got Rs 10,000 from the ISI operatives in lieu of supply of documents, the police said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides these four accused, BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed was also produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal after expiry of their police remand and the court sent them to 14-days judicial custody after the investigating officer (IO) said they were not required for further custodial interrogation.The IO told the court that they have recovered a CD containing conversations between these accused and their Pakistan-based handlers and it has been sent to the forensic science laboratory for examination. The IO said that various incriminating documents have also been recovered from the possession of the accused and the police was examining all those materials.Regarding the money transfer, the police said the accused were receiving from the ISI in their bank accounts and they have received the bank account statements of two accused from their Jammu-based respective branches.During the hearing, the police also said that there were some other beneficiaries who were likely to be arrested in connection with the case.Earlier, these accused were remanded to police custody after the investigators had said their custodial interrogation was required to unearth the entire conspiracy and the module through which they were supplying sensitive documents and information to ISI operatives.Kafaitullah Khan was arrested in connection with the case at New Delhi Railway Station while he was on his way from Jammu to Bhopal on November 26. Rasheed was arrested from Jammu on the basis of Khan’s interrogation.Farid was arrested from Darjeeling in West Bengal while Munawwar and Sabar were arrested from Jammu and Kashmir in connection with the case.

Kargil war veteran held on charges of providing confidential documents to Pakistan’s ISI

Mir had denied being part of the espionage racket when first questioned by police.

India and Pakistan flags

Retired army havildar Munawwar Ahmad Mir, who was arrested on Friday in a cross-border espionage racket for supplying confidential documents to Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), is a 1999 Kargil War veteran and a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), an Indian Express report says.Mir, who had joined the army in 1995 and retired in 2011, was arrested from Manjakote in Jammu’s Rajouri district by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch and local police. He was produced before the local court and will be brought to Delhi on transit remand by Saturday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He has been booked under 3/9 Official Secrets Act,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav to Indian Express.Mir had denied being part of the espionage racket when first questioned by police. Questioned on bank transaction details that show suspected ISI operative Kafaitullah Khan deposited money in his account, Mir said Khan borrowed Rs 25,000 from him and later returned it by depositing it in his account. Khan had been arrested earlier in the case.But the Delhi Police claim they have crucial evidence in the form of tapped phone conversations between Mir and Khan, where the two discuss ‘secret documents’.PDP MLA Choudhary Qamar Hussain said to the paper that Mir hails from his native village, and asserted his innocence. “I am sure he is innocent. He fought in the Kargil war. Many of his relatives were in the Army and it is unexpected that someone from this background will do such a thing. I know him for many years and he has been working for our party for the last one year,” he said.Police are also looking for two serving army men and a civilian in connection with the case. These are Farid, posted at Darjeeling; Joginder, posted in Jammu, and Shabir alias Safar, teacher at a state-run school.Khan claimed that he had first met one Faisal, who was an ‘ISI handler’ when he visited Pakistan in 2013. Khan says he has been working for Farid since.Khan reportedly told investigators that Farid had given a CD to Shabir which contained the “Order of Battle and details of troop movement along the frontiers in case of war between the two countries”. Shabir then sent the CD to ‘ISI handler’ Faisal.Khan reportedly sent documents to ISI handler Faisal’s email id, [email protected] from his email id [email protected] He was asked to arrange for details of the total number of fighter planes in Srinagar and areas from where these planes arrived, location of several army units and deployment of BSF in Mendhan, Rajouri and Poonch, according to the report.Then in 2015, BSF personnel Rasheed, who has been arrested too, joined the suspected racket and allegedly started sending information through Viber and WhatsApp.Critically, Shabir is now working in an election office in Rajouri and is in constant touch with Faisal. He also plans to visit Pakistan soon, says the report.

Landmine blast injures two jawans in Chhattisgarh

The explosion occurred on Wednesday morning when a joint team of Border Security Force (BSF) and district force was out on an operation under Koyalibeda police station limits, Kanker Superintendent of Police Jitendra Singh Meena said.

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File Photo

Two police jawans were on Wednesday injured in a landmine blast triggered by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district, as the rebels struck on the first day of the Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army week being observed by CPI (Maoist).The explosion occurred on Wednesday morning when a joint team of Border Security Force (BSF) and district force was out on an operation under Koyalibeda police station limits, Kanker Superintendent of Police Jitendra Singh Meena said.When the security forces were cordoning-off a forested patch near Markanar village, located nearly 300 kms in north Bastar, the Naxals triggered the blast in which two jawans were injured, Meena said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Assistant Constable Baijuram Potai and constable Santram Netam, belonging to district police, sustained injuries in the incident,” the SP said. Reinforcement was soon rushed to the spot and the injured policemen were being airlifted to Raipur for treatment, he said.A combing operation has been launched in the region to nab the attackers, he added. Security has been heightened across the insurgency-hit areas of Chhattisgarh, particularity in Bastar region, as the Maoists are observing the PLGA week from December 2-8 to commemorate their slain leaders. The Naxals hold meetings and gatherings during this period to spread their propaganda, recruits new members, review military operations besides carrying out attacks on security forces

Completely curb cattle-smuggling along Bangla border: Home Minister Rajnath Singh to BSF

The minister said many delegations from various parts of the country had met him in the past and congratulated him for bringing down the menace of illegal transport of cattle.

The BSF has been urged by the government to ensure a total clampdown in cattle-smuggling along the porous India-Bangladesh border even as a 70 per cent decline has been recorded in this illegal activity in the last several months. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while taking salute at the 50th ‘Raising Day’ celebrations of the Border Security Force here, complimented the troops for ensuring effective curb on this cross-border menace, and added that the respect for the troops of this historic force has grown in the entire country for accomplishing this task. “The steps you took to stop cattle smuggling along the India-Bangladesh border have brought a sharp decline in (the instances of) cattle-smuggling, and your respect has grown in entire India (due to this)…from April this year till now, these instances have come down by 70 per cent. I am assured that this force will be successful in curbing cattle-smuggling hundred per cent,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The minister said many delegations from various parts of the country had met him in the past and congratulated him for bringing down the menace of illegal transport of cattle, but, he said, “I want to convey these good wishes to you (Border Security Force personnel).” It was the same occasion last year here when the Home Minister had asked the personnel and officers of this largest border guarding force of the country to mount effective vigil and stop cattle-smuggling instances which have become rampant along this frontier. The minister early this year had addressed the troops of the force at a border camp in South Bengal frontier and not only complimented them for checking animal-smuggling but reiterated that these efforts need to be more effective.The BSF guards the 4,096-km-long Indo-Bangla border which is interspersed with riverine, dense forests and hilly terrains. He also lauded the force for giving a “befitting reply” against ceasefire violations along India’s border with Paksitan.

Delhi Police to probe role of Pakistan High Commission employee in spying case

New Delhi: A Pakistan High Commision employee is under the scanner of Delhi Police probing an espionage racket in which an alleged ISI operative and a serving BSF personnel have been arrested.

The serving BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed was on Monday remanded in police custody till 7 December by a Delhi court which questioned the police on whether any senior official of the border guarding force was involved in the case.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja, an alleged handler of the Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO), was in touch with an ISI operative in Pakistan who had told him that a source in the Pakistan High Commission will help him secure visa to travel to that country, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said.

Yadav said the person in Pakistan High Commission whom the ISI operative referred to is yet to be identified but sources said it appeared he was not in the rank of a diplomat.

“Once we get some leads with further interrogation of the accused duo arrested, we shall have to approach the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for their permission to question staff at the High Commission’s office,” said Yadav.

The Crime Branch said Kafaitullah was running the espionage racket backed by ISI and he was to meet the spy agency’s handler in Pakistan to seek more “resources”.

“Is there any involvement of any senior officers?,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal asked the police during the hearing on its application seeking Rasheed’s remand. Delhi Police told the court it had not yet found complicity of any officer but the probe was on.

Khan told the police he was going to Bhopal where he was supposed to meet another PIO handler to seek information from him about the unidentified source who could easily arrange his visa, said Yadav.

Khan was, however, intercepted in Delhi on Thursday on way to Bhopal where he was also to attend a religious congregation and recruit youths for the espionage racket, he said.

During interrogation, Khan, a native of a village in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, disclosed about his cousin, Abdul Rasheed, who was posted as a head constable in the intelligence wing of Border Security Force there, police said.

The Delhi Police is also trying to track the money trail from Pakistan to India — routed through the Middle East, to pay off spies operating in a suspected pan-India network.

During his interrogation Khan told the police his counterpart in Pakistan had promised him huge money for passing on secret and confidential information. When Khan started doing so, he was put on a permanent pay roll and promised performance-based appraisals, said an official.

“Records obtained so far from bank accounts in Jammu and Rajouri district have revealed that Khan used to get a fixed pay of around Rs 20,000 per month through money transfers,” he said.

Almost all the money transfers received by Khan were routed either through UAE or through Saudi Arabia. Further investigation revealed that the money actually came from Pakistan, said the official. The police are, therefore, also investigating that money trail, said an official privy to the investigation.

Khan was taken to Rajouri district and Rasheed too was arrested following a raid, a senior police official said.

“The police recovered secret and confidential documents in connection with force deployment locations, movements and patrolling routes of security forces from possession of both the accused,” he said.

Both of them have been booked under provisions of the Official Secrets Act.

Meanwhile, a Crime Branch team sent to Jammu is also looking for an Army personnel suspected to be close to Khan and believed to have allegedly passed on secret information to Pakistan’s ISI that could pose a threat to national security, the official said.

Khan was recruited in Jammu and Kashmir police several years ago. Later, he quit the job and became a library assistant at a senior secondary school in Majankote area in Rajouri district, the official said.

In 2013, he visited Pakistan where he came into contact with an ISI agent and thus began his journey as a spy.

Khan soon started cultivating sources in the Indian Army and BSF, and some of them allegedly started passing him secret documents, the official added.

According to the police, information was largely passed on through e-mail, WhatsApp and Viber networks. Khan was given specific tasks by the PIO which were mainly related to deployment of security forces and Air Force operations.

The official denied that Khan’s earlier visit to Gujranwala in Pakistan, where many of his relatives live, had anything to do with any source in the High Commission as he was not in touch with intelligence operatives then.

PTI

Delhi court remands BSF constable accused of spying to seven day police custody

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday sent in seven-day police custody BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed who has been arrested on the charge of supplying confidential information to Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.

Representational image. Image courtesy: ibnliveRepresentational image. Image courtesy: ibnlive

Representational image. Image courtesy: ibnlive

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal remanded Rasheed in police custody till December 7 to allow Delhi Police to question him.

Rasheed, posted with the Border Security Force’s intelligence wing, was arrested along with Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja of Rajouri district on the charge of obtaining secret information related to India’s national security and passing it on to the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan.

IANS

BSF officer, Jammu and Kashmir librarian caught spying for Pakistan

According to Crime Branch officials, Khan is an handler of Pakistani Intelligence Operative or PIO, which is supported by the ISI.

In what could be called a major breach within the Indian security forces, a serving officer of the Border Security Force (BSF) was arrested in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on Sunday for allegedly providing official secrets to a civilian accused of working at the behest of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, ISI. The civilian was arrested by the Crime Branch of Delhi police two days ago and has been identified as Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja, 44, a resident of Kalai village in Rajouri area of J&K.According to Crime Branch officials, Khan is an handler of Pakistani Intelligence Operative or PIO, which is supported by the ISI. Khan had been able to penetrate different security agencies of India at multiple levels and had been “procuring secret information detrimental to the security of the country”, said a senior official. However, a much bigger catch is Abdul Rasheed, a head constable in BSF posted in the Intelligence Wing of Border Security Force, Rajouri, J&K. According to police, Rasheed served as one of the main sources of Khan and has till now passed on information about deployment of security forces and Air Force operations within Indian territory. “Both of them have been arrested under the provisions of Official Secret Act,” said a senior police officer. According to the officer, the department received a secret input about the ongoing anti-national activities at the behest of Pakistan Intelligence Operative.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Crime Branch officials said they had to tread cautiously, as according to the input, the spy network was spread over the civilian handlers and the security forces personnel. “Looking into the gravity of the matter, the information was developed and a few involved were identified. On November 26, one of the handlers, Kafaitullah Khan, had boarded a train from Jammu for Bhopal. He was apprehended at the railway station and a few documents having implication on national security were recovered from him, said another senior official of Crime branch. According to police, Khan was supposed to attend the annual rally, also known as Ijtema, which is attended by more than 30 lakh Muslims. Khan was supposed to scout for information and possible recruits, police said. According to investigators, during questioning he disclosed that he had been working as library assistant at Higher Secondary School, Manjakote in Rajouri. In 2013, he had visited Pakistan where he came in contact with ISI agent and in lieu of monetary considerations, agreed to share secret information on Armed forces. “He cultivated his sources in Army and BSF and started passing on the information to PIO via e-mail, WhatsApp and Viber. He was given specific tasks by the PIO, mainly on deployment of security forces and Air Force operations, investigators told dna.According to police, Khan was in touch with Abdul Rasheed, who is also his relative, and lured him to part with sensitive information. “Khan was taken in police custody and a team was sent to Rajouri to arrest his accomplice. A search has been conducted on the premises of Khan and Rasheed, which led to recovery of important documents,” said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police, Crime Branch. On Friday, Uttar Pradesh special task force (STF) claimed to have arrested an ISI agent from Meerut Cantt area with sensitive documents related to Indian Army. The accused was identified as Mohammand Eizaz alias Mohammad Kalam, a resident of Taramadi Chowk, Irfanabad, Islamabad. He was arrested by STF team from Meerut Cantt area when he was on his way to Delhi.

Espionage racket with ISI links busted in Jammu, Kolkata by Delhi Police

The accused duo have been identified as Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, posted at the intelligence wing of Border Security Force in the same district, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said.
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AFP photo
An espionage racket with ISI links was busted in Jammu and Kolkata in two separate incidents today with the arrest of a serving BSF personnel and four suspected ISI operatives from whom classified information having implications on national security were recovered.Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, was intercepted and arrested at New Delhi railway station while he was on his way from Jammu to Bhopal and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, posted at the intelligence wing of Border Security Force in the same district, was arrested from his home, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said in Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Information was largely passed through e-mail, Whatsapp and Viber networks with Khan, an alleged handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative, being given specific tasks mainly concerned with the deployment of security forces and Air Force Operations, a police official said.”Khan is a handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO) and Rasheed was one of his chief sources. The espionage racket run by them is supported by Pakistan’s ISI,” Yadav said, adding that the duo has been arrested under various provisions of IPC and Official Secrets Act.Based on tip-offs about ongoing anti-national activities sponsored by Pakistan Intelligence Operative, which suspectedly has a network spread over civilian handlers and security forces personnel, Delhi Police’s Crime Branch developed a network and a few suspects were identified, a police official said.On Thursday, Khan had boarded a train from Jammu and was leaving for Bhopal to allegedly recruit more persons in the espionage racket. He was apprehended by a police team at Delhi railway station and “documents having implication on national security” were recovered from his possession, he said.During interrogation, Khan disclosed that he was working as a library assistant in a senior secondary school at Majankote area in Rajouri district, he said.”In 2013, he visited Pakistan and came into contact with ISI agent there. He agreed to share with them secret information of the defence forces in exchange of money,” said the official, adding that Khan soon started cultivating sources in the Indian Army and BSF, and some of them allegedly started passing him secret documents.Head constable Rasheed was his relative and Khan soon roped him into the network, luring him with a share of the commission he received from alleged ISI agents in Pakistan.On being interrogated, Khan told the police about his associate Rasheed and he was then taken to Rajouri on a transit remand to identify him Soon, the police raided Rasheed s residence too and recovered more secret and confidential documents from his premises in Rajouri district.In Kolkata, the Special Task Force of the city Police arrested a contract labourer, his son and another relative for their alleged links to the Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). Irshad Ansari (51), a contract labourer with Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE), his son Asfaq Ansari (23) and relative Mohammed Jahangir were arrested this afternoon from Dr Sudhir Bose Road in the Iqbalpur police station area in the southern part of the city, a senior STF officer said. All the accused are residents of the city’s Garden Reach area, he said.Besides recovering several documents revealing their links to the ISI, the STF also seized Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) with a face value Rs 2 lakh from Irshad and Rs 1.5 lakh each from his Asfaq and Jahangir, he said.”A hand-drawn map of the GRSE and the Netaji Subhas Dock in the city were also seized from Irshad who has been working with the warship building company for quite sometime. We are checking what his intention was or whether he had passed on the maps of any other sensitive area to the Pakistani agency or not,” the officer said. It was yet to be ascertained whether there were any links between the two incidents.

Jammu: Delhi Police arrest BSF personnel, ISI operative in spying racket

The accused duo have been identified as Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir.

A serving BSF personnel and a suspected ISI operative have been arrested by Delhi Police for their alleged involvement in an espionage racket – allegedly trading secret and confidential information posing threat to national security – from the railway station at Jammu, police said on Sunday.The accused duo have been identified as Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, posted at the intelligence wing of Border Security Force in the same district, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said. “Khan is a handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO) and Rasheed was one of his chief sources. The espionage racket run by them is supported by Pakistan’s ISI,” Yadav said, adding that the duo has been arrested under various provisions of IPC and Official Secrets Act.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related read: Kolkata Police STF arrests 3 suspected ISI agents with strong links to Trinamool Congress Based on tip-offs about ongoing anti-national activities sponsored by Pakistan Intelligence Operative, which suspectedly has a network spread over civilian handlers and security forces personnel, Delhi Police’s Crime Branch developed a network and a few suspects were identified, said a senior police official. On Thursday, Khan had boarded a train from Jammu and was about to leave for Bhopal. He was apprehended by a police team at the railway station there and “documents having implication on national security” were recovered from his possession, said the senior official.

Jammu and Kashmir: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Samba

BSF troops guarding the borderline fired illumination rounds to track suspicious movement, he said, adding nothing unusual was found.

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing along the International Border (IB) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir overnight.Three to four rounds were fired along the IB in forward area of Samba sector during the intervening night, a senior BSF officer said today.BSF troops guarding the borderline fired illumination rounds to track suspicious movement, he said, adding nothing unusual was found.There was no casualty or injury to anyone in the cross border firing, he said, adding troops are keeping a close watch on the movement along the border.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The fresh ceasefire violation comes after a lull.BSF and Pak Rangers held two high-level meetings last fortnight to ensure truce on the border during the harvesting season on both sides of the border.

Security breach: Man arrested after crashing SUV at Wagah-Attari border gate

Some media reports said that the NRI was apparently “drunk” at the time when he rammed his vehicle into the security barriers.

Wagah border

In a major security breach at the Wagah-Attari border crossing with Pakistan, an NRI crashed his SUV into the security gates at the Attari Joint Check Post (JCP) in the wee hours of on Monday and reached the Zero line at the International Border. The 42-year-old NRI from Canada, who originally hails from Jalandhar and was identified as Surinder Singh Kang, was later arrested by the BSF, Punjab Border Range IG Lok Nath Angra said.Kang smashed his SUV into two gates before being overpowered by BSF personnel, Angra said, adding that “few medicines consumed for mind relaxation were recovered from his possession.” <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSF IG Anil Paliwal said that “the person broke into two gates before being arrested and was handed over to Punjab police.” Angra said that a case under attempt to murder, Passport Act and preventing government official from performing his duties had been registered against the person who was driving a grey-coloured Mahindra Scorpio vehicle. “Investigation is under process,” Angra said, adding that it was “pre-mature” to establish that he was a psychiatric patient.A senior BSF official said that the NRI has told investigators that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, but thought obtaining visa and going through other formalities would take time. The Attari-Wagah JCP is about 30 km from the holy city of Amritsar.Giving details, another senior BSF official said that between 3:30 AM to 4 AM, after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple here, the NRI crossed the first gate near the border after which he smashed a Customs barrier whose pillars broke and then proceeded towards the Swarn Jayanti Dwar, and was apprehended before he could further proceed towards the international gate.”He told us that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib, but did not want to wait for the visa and other formalities and adopted the illegal way,” the official said.The vehicle stopped near the Pakistani gate at the border, BSF sources said. Meanwhile, Pakistani Rangers are understood to have written to the BSF authorities seeking an inquiry into the incident. Some media reports said that the NRI was apparently “drunk” at the time when he rammed his vehicle into the security barriers.

NRI crashes SUV at Wagah-Attari Indo-Pak border, arrested

BSF IG Anil Paliwal said that “the person broke into two gates before being arrested and was handed over to Punjab police.”

A senior BSF official said that the NRI has told investigators that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, but thought obtaining visa and going through other formalities would take time.

File Photo
In a major security breach at the Wagah-Attari border crossing with Pakistan, an NRI crashed his SUV into the security gates at the Attari Joint Check Post (JCP) in the wee hours of on Monday and reached the Zero line at the International Border. The 42-year-old NRI from Canada, who originally hails from Jalandhar and was identified as Surinder Singh Kang, was later arrested by the BSF, Punjab Border Range IG Lok Nath Angra said.Kang smashed his SUV into two gates before being overpowered by BSF personnel, Angra said, adding that “few medicines consumed for mind relaxation were recovered from his possession.” <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSF IG Anil Paliwal said that “the person broke into two gates before being arrested and was handed over to Punjab police.” Angra said that a case under attempt to murder, Passport Act and preventing government official from performing his duties had been registered against the person who was driving a grey-coloured Mahindra Scorpio vehicle. “Investigation is under process,” Angra said, adding that it was “pre-mature” to establish that he was a psychiatric patient.A senior BSF official said that the NRI has told investigators that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, but thought obtaining visa and going through other formalities would take time. The Attari-Wagah JCP is about 30 km from the holy city of Amritsar.Giving details, another senior BSF official said that between 3:30 AM to 4 AM, after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple here, the NRI crossed the first gate near the border after which he smashed a Customs barrier whose pillars broke and then proceeded towards the Swarn Jayanti Dwar, and was apprehended before he could further proceed towards the international gate.”He told us that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib, but did not want to wait for the visa and other formalities and adopted the illegal way,” the official said.The vehicle stopped near the Pakistani gate at the border, BSF sources said. Meanwhile, Pakistani Rangers are understood to have written to the BSF authorities seeking an inquiry into the incident. Some media reports said that the NRI was apparently “drunk” at the time when he rammed his vehicle into the security barriers.

Jammu and Kashmir: Two more held in Udhampur terror attack case

With the arrest of these two, the number of people nabbed in this case has gone up to five.

Two more persons have been arrested in connection with the terror attack on a BSF convoy in Udhampur in August, taking to five the number of those held in the case being probed by the NIA. Khursheed Ahmed Ittoo and Fayaz Ahmed Ittoo were arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police over the last two days and handed over to the NIA, the investigating agency said. They were arrested after their names surfaced during the investigation in the terror attack in which two BSF personnel were killed and a number of others injured on August 5, NIA said.With the arrest of these two, the number of people nabbed in this case has gone up to five. This includes Pakistani terrorist of banned Lashker-e-Taiba Mohammed Naved, one of the two attackers overpowered by locals after the terror strike. His associate was killed in the return fire by BSF. NIA alleged that Khursheed used his car as pilot vehicle for the truck in which Naved and his accomplice Mohammed Noman travelled from the Kashmir valley to Udhampur for executing the attack at Samroli in Udhampur.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Khursheed is alleged to be in constant touch with the truck driver Fayaz Ahmed Ashwar and he coordinated with the militants regarding the place of attack and other logistics, the NIA said in a release. The entire conspiracy of Udhampur terrorist attack was executed in the house of Fayaz in Kudwani of South Kashmir. NIA had announced a cash reward of Rs two lakh on information leading to his arrest. The two arrested accused will be produced before the Special NIA court. The NIA is expected to seek their custody for interrogation.A group of four LeT terrorists Mohammad Naved Yakub, Zhargham alias Mohammed Bhai, Abu Okasa and Noman had entered India from Baba Reshi in Baramulla district to south Kashmir. The group split into two. One group attacked BSF convoy in Udhampur on August 5, during which Naved was arrested and his associate Mohammed Noman alias Momin was killed. The main conspirator of the case Abu Qassim, the Lashker’s terror group’s top commander, was killed last month during an encounter at Kulgam.The NIA had already arrested Showkat Ahmed Bhat and Khursheed Ahmed who were also involved in the alleged transportation of the terrorists in Kashmir.

Punjab: Torn pages of holy books on road, cops in a tizzy

He said the pages were found scattered around a half-a- kilometre radius and added that police were taking the help of footage from CCTV cameras installed in various shops in the area in order to identify the culprits.

File photo: BSF and Punjab police personnel take out flag march to instill a sense of security and safety among residents of holy city Amritsar.

PTI
Torn pages from two religious books were found scattered by the roadside near Chander Nagar in Punjab, police said, even as a large contingent of personnel was deployed there as a precautionary step after similar cases recently sparked unrest in Punjab.SHO of Police Station 4, Dharam Pal, who reached the spot with a police party, said, “The torn pages of the holy books were lying on both sides of the road.”He said the pages were found scattered around a half-a- kilometre radius and added that police were taking the help of footage from CCTV cameras installed in various shops in the area in order to identify the culprits.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police said that a large number of personnel has been deployed at the spot after the matter came to light.Meanwhile, activists of some religious organisations were seen shouting slogans against the government in Chander Nagar.The alleged case of desecration came to light as a ‘prabhat pheri’ (morning religious procession) was passing the area.Punjab has seen over 10 incidents of alleged desecration of religious books over the last one month. Violent protests were held over these incidents, leading to the death of two persons and injuries to others.

BSF, Pakistani Rangers meet in Jammu for second time in a week

Jammu: The Border Security Forces (BSF) and Pakistani Rangers held casual contact meeting, second in less than a week, along International Border (IB) in R S Pura sector of Jammu district on Sunday.

A casual contact level meeting was held between Pak Rangers and BSF at Octerio Border Out Post (BOP) along International Border in RS Pura sector from 1510 hours to 1513 hours today, BSF sources told PTI.

BSF Director General DK Pathak shakes hands with Pakistan Rangers Director General (Punjab), Major General Umar Farooq Burki. PTIBSF Director General DK Pathak shakes hands with Pakistan Rangers Director General (Punjab), Major General Umar Farooq Burki. PTI

BSF Director General DK Pathak shakes hands with Pakistan Rangers Director General (Punjab), Major General Umar Farooq Burki. File photo: PTI

A five member BSF team discussed issues related to ceasefire violation with a four-member Pak Rangers’ team in a cordial manner.

The two sides committed to maintenance of peace along the border.

On 3 November, a Commandant-Commander-level meeting of the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers was held in Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir to reiterate commitment to peace along the Indo-Pak border during cultivation by farmers on both sides.

PTI

BSF, Pak Rangers hold meeting to ensure peace border

A casual Wing Commander-Commandant level meeting was held between Pak Rangers and BSF at Mangu Chak Border Out Post (BOP) along International Border (IB) in Samba sector.

A Commandant-Commander-level meeting the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers was held in Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir to reiterate commitment to peace along the Indo-Pak border during cultivation by farmers on both sides.A casual Wing Commander-Commandant level meeting was held between Pak Rangers and BSF at Mangu Chak Border Out Post (BOP) along International Border (IB) in Samba sector of J&K on Tuesday, a BSF officer said here on Wednesday. The Pakistan side was led by Wing Commander Aseem Bhatti and while Officiating Commandant Y B Yadav represented the BSF at the meeting, which was held in cordial manner.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They discussed issues of maintenance of peace along borderline during the cultivation by border farmers, cleaning thick growth of grass (Sarkanda) along zero-line and other issues, the officer said. The two sides committed to maintenance of peace along the borderline, he added.

J&K: Top Lashkar commander & mastermind of Udhampur BSF convoy attack Abu Qasim killed in encounter

Top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander and mastermind of Udhampur attack Abu Qasim alias Abdur Rehman was killed in an encounter in South Kashmir on early Thursday.

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Top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander and mastermind of Udhampur attack Abu Qasim alias Abdur Rehman was killed in an encounter in South Kashmir on early Thursday.The mastermind behind Udhampur BSF convoy attack was killed by security forces in an ambush at Khanday Pora area of Kulgam district.Qasim was also involved in some of the major attacks on security forces in Kashmir. In June 2013, he attacked an army convoy at Hyderpora, in which eight army soldiers were killed in. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Qasim had killed a police officer early this month in Bandipora district and managed to escape.Recently, the NIA-led probe into the Udhampur terror attack had revealed the role of Abu Qasim. The probe agency had stated that Qasim, had arranged logistics for the four Pakistani militants who later on carried out an attack on a BSF convoy on August 5.Qasim is believed to be a resident of Bawalpur in Pakistan. The NIA had declared cash reward of Rs 10 lakhs for the arrest of Qasim.More details to follow.

BSF warns Paistan against any misadventure, cites zero tolerance

The blunt message was conveyed by BSF to Pakistan Rangers during a Flag Meeting while lodging a strong protest over its “unprovoked” cross-border firing which killed one civilian and injured 14 in Jammu and Kashmir over past few days.

BSF Inspector General (Jammu Frontier) Rakesh Kumar

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
In the wake of renewed ceasefire violations, BSF on Tuesday warned Pakistani armed forces against undertaking any “misadventure”, saying India has “zero tolerance” towards infiltration and cross-border firing, particularly that targets the civilian population.The blunt message was conveyed by BSF to Pakistan Rangers during a Flag Meeting while lodging a strong protest over its “unprovoked” cross-border firing which killed one civilian and injured 14 in Jammu and Kashmir over past few days. The protest was conveyed at the Sector Commander level Flag Meeting between BSF and Pakistan Rangers at BOP Octerio (Pakistan side) in R S Pura sector of Jammu district which lasted for about two hours. The Flag Meeting was convened in the wake of renewed firing by Pakistani Rangers after over a month-long lull.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have lodged the protest and all those protests are given to them on which they have violated the understanding which was established during the DG-level talks (in Delhi on September 12),” BSF Inspector General (Jammu Frontier) Rakesh Kumar told reporters.He said, “we have told them that we have zero tolerance towards sniping, zero tolerance for infiltration and zero tolerance for cross border firing on the international border, and especially targeting of the civilian population”.Another senior officer said, “BSF conveyed it to Pakistan Rangers in strong words that any misadventure on the International Border and the firing and shelling on Indian villages will not be tolerated at any cost.”To questions on the outcome of talks, he said, “In the meetings, Pakistan Rangers appear to be very positive and it appears that now they will follow the norms… Talks do bring results and I am hopeful that these talks will also produce results.” It was agreed that meetings at local level between two border guarding forces should be held more frequently, an officer said.After a lull of over a month, Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling from October 23 targetting large number of BoPs and border hamlets with 81, 82 mm mortar bombs and heavy machine guns till yesterday morning. It resulted in the death of a civilian and injuries to 14 others. Over two dozen bovines were also killed or injured.On October 23, one civilian labourer Raj Kumar from Chhattisgarh was killed and two other civilians were injured in the firing by Pakistani Rangers along IB in Mangu Chack area on Samba sector. The next day, five civilians were injured in the Pakistani firing and shelling along IB in Mawa and Bhatti villages in Samba.On October 25, six people were injured in Pak shelling in Bobiya area along IB in Hirnagar sector of Kathua district. One civilian was injured in Pak firing in Ramgarh belt of samba sector yesterday.

Pakistan Rangers wing commander to meet BSF chief today to discuss ceasefire violations

The meeting has been arranged to discuss Pakistan’s ceasefire violations along the International Border (IB).

BSF jawans

PTI
The wing commander of the Pakistan Rangers is set to meet BSF chief Devendra Kumar Pathak at 1 pm on Tuesday, at Octorai Post in RS Pura sector of Jammu and Kashmir, reports India Today.The meeting has been arranged to discuss Pakistan’s ceasefire violations along the International Border (IB).The top commander of Pakistan’s border guarding force on had Monday called up the BSF chief to urge Indian troops to stop their retaliatory firing over escalated ceasefire violations by the neighbouring country following which both sides agreed to halt the exchanges.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst a spurt in ceasefire violations along the Indo- Pakistan International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir, the chief of Pakistan Rangers called up BSF DG DK Pathak urging the Indian side to stop its retaliatory firing.Sources said to PTI that Rangers Director General Major General Umar Farooq Burki told the BSF chief that they have suffered “very heavy” damage because of the BSF response and urged the border guarding force to stop its firing. The Border Security Force (BSF) DG told his counterpart that there will be no retaliation if Pakistan does not initiate the firing, they added.Also read: 5 things you need to know about a flag meet​The Rangers DG, sources said, rang his BSF counterpart this afternoon on the newly-operationalised hotline between the two sides and urged Pathak to ensure tranquillity and stop firing on the border. There have been repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops since October 23.”Both sides agreed to stop the firing, but BSF made it clear that they will retaliate if provoked,” they said.The Indo-Pakistan IB in Jammu and Kashmir was peaceful since the Rangers and BSF held a DG-level conference last month in the national capital recently in September, but fresh violations by the other side began last week. The two sides had decided to create a new mechanism and the two Directors General (DsG) had agreed to activate a hotline to get in direct touch in case of any problems on the border they guard.Pakistan on Monday had targeted 30 border outposts and several hamlets with mortar bombs and heavy machine gun firing in the Samba and Kathua districts of J-K, leaving a civilian injured as ceasefire violations by the neighbouring country it continued for the fourth day. The recent instances of ceasefire violations have left a civilian dead and seven others injured till now on the Indian side.(With PTI inputs)

Pakistan Rangers DG calls BSF chief, urges end to firing

Amidst a spurt in ceasefire violations along the Indo- Pakistan International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir, the chief of Pakistan Rangers called up BSF DG DK Pathak urging the Indian side to stop its retaliatory firing.

A house damaged during ceasefire violation by Pakistan, in Bobiya village of Hiranagar sector in Jammu on Monday.

PTI
The top commander of Pakistan’s border guarding force on Monday called up the BSF chief to urge Indian troops to stop their retaliatory firing over escalated ceasefire violations by the neighbouring country following which both sides agreed to halt the exchanges.Amidst a spurt in ceasefire violations along the Indo- Pakistan International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir, the chief of Pakistan Rangers called up BSF DG DK Pathak urging the Indian side to stop its retaliatory firing.Sources said that Rangers Director General Maj. Gen. Umar Farooq Burki told the BSF chief that they have suffered “very heavy” damage because of the BSF response and urged the border guarding force to stop its firing. The Border Security Force (BSF) DG told his counterpart that there will be no retaliation if Pakistan does not initiate the firing, they added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rangers DG, sources said, rang his BSF counterpart this afternoon on the newly-operationalised hotline between the two sides and urged Pathak to ensure tranquillity and stop firing on the border. There have been repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops since October 23.”Both sides agreed to stop the firing, but BSF made it clear that they will retaliate if provoked,” they said.The Indo-Pakistan IB in Jammu and Kashmir was peaceful since the Rangers and BSF held a DG-level conference last month in the national capital recently in September, but fresh violations by the other side began last week. The two sides had decided to create a new mechanism and the two Directors General (DsG) had agreed to activate a hotline to get in direct touch in case of any problems on the border they guard.Pakistan today targeted 30 border outposts and several hamlets with mortar bombs and heavy machine gun firing in the Samba and Kathua districts of J-K, leaving a civilian injured as ceasefire violations by the neighbouring country it continued for the fourth day. The recent instances of ceasefire violations have left a civilian dead and seven others injured till now on the Indian side.

India will give befitting reply to Pakistan: BJP

The unprovoked firing by Pakistan entered its fourth day on Monday and the civilians have been the most affected as they are facing major loss of property.

Border

Former home secretary and BJP MP from Arrah RK Singh on Monday said that India will give a befitting reply to Pakistan for the escalating ceasefire violations across the Line of Control (LoC ) in which several innocent civilians and jawans have lost their lives. “Pakistan Rangers have decided to send a message to the BSF. The commanders of the Pakistan Rangers should understand that India will give a befitting reply to escalating ceasefire violations across the LoC. The Pakistan Rangers should understand that only the life of innocent civilians are lost in these firings,” Singh said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The unprovoked firing by Pakistan entered its fourth day on Monday and the civilians have been the most affected as they are facing major loss of property. At least five civilians were injured in overnight ceasefire violation by the Pakistani troops in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba and Kathua Districts. Pakistani troops targeted 30 border posts during the heavy shelling that still continues at some places. The Border Security Force (BSF) strongly retaliated, resulting in a heavy exchange of fire. Several houses and shops have been damaged in the shelling. Five civilians, including children were injured when a mortar landed in a villager’s house. The residents said that 50 mortar shells landed in and near the village. The civilians have been evacuated to safer shelters for now. “It’s been four days since we have slept. The firing and the shelling starts and stops on its own accord and we don’t know what to do. Are we supposed to leave? Where do we go? The government needs to find a way to end this. We can’t keep taking the loss that we face every day,” a local of the Bobiya village in Kathua District said. Pakistan troops began firing on Friday evening and so far a civilian has been killed and 13 have been injured.

Uttar Pradesh: BSF, PAC stages flag march after communal clashes in Kannauj

Prohibitory orders were imposed following tension here over Thursday’s clash at the Lakhan tri-section after some people allegedly opened fire and hurled brickbats at a procession for the immersion of Durga idols.

Prohibitory orders were still in force to keep the unruly elements under check (File Photo)

PTI
BSF and PAC on Saturday staged a flag march in the town, where prohibitory orders were clamped, following the death of a person in a clash during a Durga puja immersion procession. Border Security Forces and Provincial Armed Constabulary staged the flag march to instill confidence among the people, even as no untoward incident was reported since yesterday after the clash, SP Kalanidhi Naithani said.Prohibitory orders were imposed following tension here over Thursday’s clash at the Lakhan tri-section after some people allegedly opened fire and hurled brickbats at a procession for the immersion of Durga idols. The curfew was lifted yesterday itself as the situation was brought under control, but the prohibitory orders were still in force to keep the unruly elements under check, Naithani said. The named accused in the firing incident, Akram has been arrested and hunt was on for the others, the SP said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The former city president of BJP, Vikram Tripathi, has been arrested with a countrymade weapon and a case has also been lodged against the member of BJP working committee Subrat Pathak, the SP said. District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha said that barring stray incidents, there was total peace in the town.The markets, however, remained closed today. One of the two youths, aged 30, who was injured in the violence succumbed at a hospital.

Pakistan targets 9 Border Outposts along IB in Samba, civilian killed

After over a month-long lull, Pakistani troops on Friday resumed the ceasefire violations along the international border, killing one civilian and injuring three so far.

BSF jawans

Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire again with heavy firing and mortar shelling overnight that targeted nine Border Outposts (BoPs) of BSF and civilians areas in Samba district along IB, leaving a labourer injured.After over a month-long lull, Pakistani troops on Friday resumed the ceasefire violations along the international border, killing one civilian and injuring three so far.”Pak Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing on BSF posts along IB in Samba sector from 2025 hours last night”, a BSF officer said in Jammu on Saturday, adding BSF troops carried out effective retaliation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rangers fired on nine BoPs of BSF along IB in areas between River Basantar and River Treva in Samba sector, he said, adding that they used 82, 82 and 51 mm mortar bombs at few places along IB.BSF troops guarding the borderline retaliated resulting in exchanges which continued till 0220 hours today, he said, adding that there was no loss of life on Indian side but a civilian, who was working as a labourer in maintenance work near fence, was injured.A civilian was killed and two others were injured last evening when Pakistani troops indulged in heavy firing along IB in Mangu Chak border outpost. The ceasefire violations, which became a routine, had stopped after the Director General (DG)-level talks between BSF and Pakistan Rangers on September 12.

Pakistan continues firing along International Border overnight, one killed

Heavy firing continued throughout night in Samba sector between Basantar and river Tarna. The BSF retaliated to the Pakistani firing.

A BSF jawan

Pakistan on Saturday violated ceasefire by resorting to firing on nine Border Out Posts (BoPs) along the International Border in Samba sector of Jammu district, says NDTV.Heavy firing continued throughout night in Samba sector between Basantar and river Tarna. The BSF retaliated to the Pakistani firing, sources said to NDTV.”At about 1705 hours, Pakistan Rangers started unprovoked firing, targeting BSF Naka mound and “At about 1705 hours, Pakistan Rangers started unprovoked firing, targeting BSF Naka mound and civil Labourer in the Samba sector, who were carrying out construction work of culvert well inside the Indian territory,” a BSF spokesman said to PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BSF gave a befitting reply to the Pakistani firing, he said, adding the exchange of fire stopped at 1730 hours. As per initial reports, three civilians working on the construction of the culvert received bullet injuries, the BSF spokesman said. Police said one of the injured died on way to the hospital where the other injured were undergoing treatment.”One of the injured has succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital. The other injured are undergoing treatment at district hospital Samba. We are yet to ascertain the identity of the deceased,” SSP Samba Joginder Singh told PTI.(With PTI inputs)

Pakistan provokes India again, kills labourer on International Border

The incident occurred on Saturday evening when civilian labourers were carrying out construction work on the culvert inside the Indian Territory in the Samba sector.

Tension has again gripped international border (IB) after Pakistan Rangers fired indiscriminately on the Indian forward posts and civlian labourers, killing one of them and injuring two others in the Samba Sector of Jammu division.The incident occurred on Saturday evening when civilian labourers were carrying out construction work on the culvert inside the Indian Territory in the Samba sector.”At about 1705 hours Pakistan Rangers started unprovoked firing targeting BSF Naka mound and civil labourers who were carrying out construction work on the culvert well inside the Indian Territory. Reportedly three labourers suffered bullet injury,” said a BSF spokesman.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The injured were shifted to the hospital where one of the labourers succumbed. Border Security Force (BSF) troops deployed on the IB immediately retaliated to silence the Pakistani guns. “BSF troops also gave befitting reply (to Pakistani firing). Firing from both side stopped at 1730 hours”, said the spokesman.The fresh round of firing on the borders came a month after BSF and Pakistan Rangers reportedly broke the ice and decided to uphold the border ceasefire in the meeting held in New Delhi in September. The Indian delegation was led by BSF director General DK Pathak while Pakistan Rangers team was led by senior Rangers Director General (Punjab) Major General Umar Farooq Burki.The incident occurred at a time when Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is on a visit to the United States where he tried to rake up Kashmir issue with President Barrack Obama.Official figures reveal that around 430 ceasefire violations occurred on the IB while 153 violations were reported on the LoC in 2014. Eight soldiers including four BSF men and four army personnel were killed in the cross border shelling. Official figures reveal there were a total of 347 ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir including 199 along the LoC in 2013.

BSF finds footprints near Indo-Pak border in Kutch, launches search operation

An official of BSF (Gujarat Frontier) said that the footprints suggested that ‘a camel-party’ consisting of three persons and two camels may have crossed the border near Vighakot to the north of Bhuj town. The border is not fenced in this area.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
The Border Security Force (BSF) and the Kutch district police have initiated a joint search operation near the India-Pakistan border in the Rann of Kutch after spotting some suspicious “footprints”.An official of BSF (Gujarat Frontier) said that the footprints suggested that ‘a camel-party’ consisting of three persons and two camels may have crossed the border near Vighakot to the north of Bhuj town. The border is not fenced in this area.”BSF men have not seen any Pakistani smuggler or person. We found footprints of three persons and hoof marks of two camels. BSF and police have launched a joint search operation. No specific information is received yet from the border villages about any suspects,” said the official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are still verifying whether someone crossed the border and went to Pakistan from Gujarat with camels or came here from Pakistan. It is also possible that stray camels from Pakistan came here to drink water and returned, which usually happens because the area does not have any fence,” said the official.

Sushma Swaraj shifts focus back on Indo-Pak talks, but Kashmir militancy could play spoilsport

by David Devadas

Speculation is the flavour of the season in Kashmir. Uncertainty has centred on a variety of issues, ranging from the stability of the state government to whether the Centre will grant a ‘package’ to the state. This weekend, the focus of speculation is back on India-Pakistan talks, but also remains riveted on who might lurk behind the infighting among militant outfits.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the UN. PTI

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the UN. PTI

The latest news is that India has reopened the door for talks with Pakistan on all outstanding issues, the term it prefers when it is willing to talk about Kashmir too. Cut to the bone, that was the nub of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.

Of course, the fresh opening was hedged with another unequivocal warning that talks and terrorism cannot go hand-in-hand. The warning is difficult to ignore, coming as it did from the very articulate minister who read Pakistan the riot act on the eve of the talks that were scheduled between the two countries’ National Security Advisors a few weeks ago. More importantly, the warning, alongside the invitation, has now been issued on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly.

For good measure, the minister highlighted the fact that India has sent more than its share of troops for international peacekeeping. Of course, that was meant primarily to back India’s claim to permanent membership of the Security Council. But it also underlines a contrast between India’s peacemaking record and Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism.

Meanwhile, on the ground in Kashmir, there is much speculation about whether the intra-militancy battles might be another kind of proxy war. The question in most Kashmiri minds is whether Defence Minister Parrikar’s throwaway remark some months ago about turning a thorn against other thorns (‘kaante se kaanta nikala jaata hai’) so as not to risk the lives of soldiers actually gave away strategy.

To be sure, there now appear to be at least five types of militants in Kashmir, each operating separately from the others. Speculation rages about at least three of them. A number of perceptive Kashmiris have even been asking how the charismatic young Burhan, Hizb-ul Mujahideen’s divisional commander for south Kashmir, moves around undetected. Photographs of the man have been posted on the internet, bathing in streams, motivating young men, and leading his band through forests, brandishing weapons Robin Hood-style and outfitted in fatigues. According to a local journalist, he even visited the home of a recently killed militant, to condole.

There were four kinds of covert counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir during the violent ’90s. Former RAW chief Amarjit Singh Dulat made partial disclosure a couple of months ago of his buying over various political faces of Kashmir’s freedom movement, including leading lights of the Hurriyat Conference. His handout operations were of limited use – though, in the long term, the least effective kind of covert counter-insurgency was the institutionalisation of mercenary groups known generically as ‘Ikhwan’, who worked in tandem with the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Rashtriya Rifles from 1994 to 2000.

Arguably the most effective covert tool of counter-insurgency was the one developed by the former Inspector-General of the BSF, Ashok Patel. Even when militancy and the freedom sentiment were at a peak in 1990, he slipped agents provocateurs into the ranks of militants, some of them at the highest level. As with other terrorist acts which Patel manipulated, such as the hijack of an Indian Airlines aircraft to Lahore in 1970, his agents were evidently playing both sides.

Many in Kashmir are now wondering if a similarly sophisticated strategy is at work now, and what its contours might be. The bottom-line is that recent events such as the discovery of horribly tortured bodies of three militants and Burhan’s meteoric rise to stardom have confused a range of key players, including Ali Shah Geelani and Hizb-ul Mujahideen ‘commander-in-chief’ Syed Salahuddin – perhaps even the ISI’s coordinators.

Confusion erodes confidence. Dulat’s revelations may have ensured that freedom fighters will balk at negotiating in future, but the memory of Patel’s operations combines effectively with the redoubtable reputation of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to undermine the confidence of militancy’s sponsors.

This particular bout of uncertainty may not last. The ISI no doubt has other lethal clubs and devious jacks up its copious sleeve. So, this is an opportune time to open the door for talks, as Swaraj did at the UN. Not that one should expect lasting peace. From the look of things, this is only the beginning of a period of extraordinary conflict and subterfuge in and about Kashmir.

BSF bursts hole in Pakistan’s claim of India building wall along IB in Jammu and Kashmir

“It is a confusion that is being created by the Pakistani side as there is no such wall being constructed on the IB in Jammu and Kashmir”, said BSF.

The BSF IG said the fortification of the already existing fence on the IB was an ongoing process because the fence is subjected to the vagaries of nature.

India is not constructing a wall along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir as charged by Pakistan, BSF IG Rakesh Sharma said today, dismissing the claims as a baseless “story”. He said it was not possible to construct a wall along the IB keeping in view the topography of the area where the IB is situated. “This is a story created by Pakistan. There is no wall being constructed on the IB in Jammu and Kashmir”, Sharma said. The IG said it was a confusion being created by Pakistani side. “It is a confusion that is being created by the Pakistani side as there is no such wall being constructed on the IB in Jammu and Kashmir”, Sharma said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”How can it be constructed and the wall as you know the topographic conditions of the border, it is just not possible to construct a wall”, he said. Pakistan has last week complained to UN Security Council, alleging that India was building a wall along the International Border in violation of the world body’s resolutions. Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi, has in a letter to President of the Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, alleged that India was planning to construct a 10-meter high and 135-feet wide embankment (wall) along the 197-km Working Boundary between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan. The planned wall, according to Pakistan, was to convert the IB “into a quasi international border”.Asked whether a wall would help check cross border infiltration, Sharma said, “No, I really cannot say what would be the solution– whatever measures (to check infiltration) are being required to be taken on ground, we are doing that”. Asked as to why Pakistan was making up the story of a wall being constructed along IB, Sharma said, “I am also surprised about the wall theory– there is nothing on the ground and it seems to be a story only”. The BSF IG said the fortification of the already existing fence on the IB was an ongoing process because the fence is subjected to the vagaries of nature. “See the repair and upgradation of the border fence is an ongoing process. At several places the fence gets washed away when there is a flood so we have to repair it”, he said. When asked to comment on the recently held Director General (DG) level talks with Pakistan, Sharma said, “It (situation along IB) appears to be peaceful as of now and both the sides are maintaining peace on the border and let us see how things move ahead”.On the issue of number of militants waiting across the border to cross into Indian side, he said, “I really cannot say at this point of time, but I am very sure that Pakistan must respond to the promises made during the meeting and they will not allow any infiltration to happen through the IB and we are also watchful and guardful”. On the issues that were taken during the DG level talks, IG BSF said, “As I told earlier also the meeting was in an absolutely cordial atmosphere and both the sides took all the issues that were to be discussed in the meeting and our DG also took up all the issues that were on hand”.He expressed hope that both the sides would abide by the issues and promises made during the meeting. “We are very hopeful that all those issues which were discussed will find solution and both the sides will go by the rules that were set up in the agenda (during the meeting)”, he said.

Pak violates ceasefire along LoC in Poonch, 17 violations in September

Jammu: Pakistani troops on Wednesday violated the ceasefire twice by firing and shelling on forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in two sectors of Poonch district, drawing retaliation from Indian troops.

Representational image. Image courtesy: ReutersRepresentational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

Representational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

Pakistani troops resorted to firing with automatic weapons and mortar shelling on forward posts along the LoC in Krishnagati sector from 0710 hours, a defence spokesman said, adding they fired 82 mm mortar bombs.

Pakistani troops also fired from automatic weapons on forward posts along the LoC in Balakote sector from 1820 hours to 2100 hours last night, the spokesman said.

Troops guarding the LoC retaliated resulting in exchanges, he said, adding firing was on when reports last came in from the area.

“Our side retaliated appropriately but no casualty or damage was reported,” he said.

Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire 17 times in September this year.

On Sunday, BSF officer Sohan was killed in Pakistan shelling when Pakistani troops targeted their post in Manjakotr sector along LoC in Rajouri district.

PTI

Jammu and Kashmir: Pakistani troops violate ceasefire along LoC in Poonch

The Indian troops guarding the border retaliated effectively to the unprovoked firing by the Pakistani troops.

Pakistani troops on Wednesday violated the ceasefire twice by firing and shelling on forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in two sectors of Poonch district, drawing retaliation from Indian troops.Pakistani troops resorted to firing with automatic weapons and mortar shelling on forward posts along the LoC in Krishnagati sector from 0710 hours, a Defence Spokesman said, adding they fired 82 mm mortar bombs.Pakistani troops also fired from automatic weapons on forward posts along the LoC in Balakote sector from 1820 hours to 2100 hours last night, the spokesman said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Troops guarding the LoC retaliated resulting in exchanges, he said, adding firing was on when reports last came in from the area.”Our side retaliated appropriately but no casualty or damage was reported,” he said.Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire 17 times in September this year.On Sunday, BSF officer Sohan was killed in Pakistan shelling when Pakistani troops targeted their post in Manjakotr sector along LoC in Rajouri district.On August 28, three civilians, including two women, were killed and 17 were injured as Pakistani troops pounded border areas of Jammu with heavy shelling and firing.There had been 55 violations of the border ceasefire agreement by Pakistan in August and over 245 ceasefire violations in the year so far.On September 5, an army jawan was injured as Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing on forward posts along the LoC in Poonch district.

India-Pakistan border ‘Confidence Building Measures’ to be implemented in next 15 days

The two sides, during their three-day DG-level talks in New Delhi, had decided to enhance communication channels by getting in touch over the fastest modes of communication like mobile phone, fax and email and ensure that they alert the other side with a precautionary illumination fire if either side detects something suspicious on the International Border (IB).

Border Security Force (BSF) Director General DK Pathak and Pakistani Rangers Director General (Punjab), Major General Umar Farooq Burki shake hands after signing an agreement, at the end of the BSF-Pak Rangers Annual Meet at BSF headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday.

PTI photo
The latest set of confidence building measures (CBMs) agreed upon by BSF and Pak Rangers to put an end to ceasefire violations and firing along the border are expected to be put in place in the next fortnight.The two sides, during their three-day DG-level talks in New Delhi, had decided to enhance communication channels by getting in touch over the fastest modes of communication like mobile phone, fax and email and ensure that they alert the other side with a precautionary illumination fire if either side detects something suspicious on the International Border (IB).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The 20-point joint record of discussions stipulates that the new CBMs and other points agreed upon shall be put into operation in the next 15 days. A number of these initiatives do not require the permission of governments on either side and can be implemented by the two forces on their own keeping in mind the top most agenda of peace, tranquillity and safety of border population,” sources privy to the development said.They said like in the case of exchange of mobile numbers, both the sides have to work out modalities as international calling is barred from border locations and hence mechanisms have to be put in place for this.”Basic details like the colour of the warning flare shots that will be used by either side will have to be worked upon and communicated to each other within the next fortnight so that the decisions taken during the DG-level talks could be implemented on ground,” they said.The joint record was signed and endorsed yesterday here by the two chiefs– Border Security Force DG D K Pathak and Pak Rangers Director General Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki. The Rangers delegation, after this official ceremony, crossed over to their side in the evening through the Attari-Wagah land border. These bi-annual border talks had taken place almost after a break of two years as relations between the two neighbours came under strain due to a host of issues.As part of efforts to bring peace on the border, India and Pakistan had yesterday also decided to put a complete ban on firing of mortar shells along the IB in Jammu and Kashmir which has claimed the lives of several civilians and damaged their houses.The outcome of the talks, which both the sides said were held in a “cordial and constructive atmosphere”, also endorsed a CBM that in case either side notices suspicious movement along IB, they will fire precautionary illumination shots to alert the counterpart that the forthcoming fire is aimed at the intruder and not at them.However, Pakistan has put on hold for the time being two other CBMs of cultural and sporting activities exchanges as proposed by BSF.”Pakistan said it could be implemented after some time is given to the primary decisions taken for ending ceasefire violations and development of mutual trust. They have assured that these two CBMs would be activated before the BSF delegation travels to Pakistan by the middle of next year for similar talks,” sources had said.BSF and Rangers also decided to hold coordinated patrolling along IB in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab and once this is successful, it will be conducted along the Jammu frontier too.The joint record also mentioned that both sides will take extra steps to help and repatriate those who inadvertently cross the border and similarly ensure early release of apprehended fishermen. It was also decided, they had said, that any serious breach of ceasefire violation will be “jointly investigated” by the two sides.

As Indo-Pak border talks end, Pakistan troops violate ceasefire thrice in Jammu

Jammu: On a day border guards of India and Pakistan wrapped up their two-day talks, Pakistan troops violated ceasefire thrice by firing on forward posts along Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

In a late night incident, Pakistan troops resorted to firing with small arms and automatic weapons along the LoC in Poonch and Balakote sectors, a Defence spokesman said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Indian troops retaliated leading to exchange of fire, he said adding firing is on when last reports came in from the area.

Earlier in the day, the neighbouring country troops opened fired in Rajouri district.

“Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violations in Hamirpur sector of Rajouri district in wee hours today,” Jammu-based defence spokesperson Lt Col Manish Mehta said, adding that “no casualty or damage was reported”.

“The area witnessed ceasefire violations by Pakistan army between 0400 hours and 0500 hours today,” he said.

Forward posts maintained by Pakistan fired towards the Indian side using automatic weapons and small arms, he said.

“Our side retaliated appropriately but no casualty or damage was reported,” Mehta said.

The firing by Pakistani soldiers came on a day Indo-Pak border guard held meeting in Delhi during which it was agreed yesterday to end ceasefire violations.

They decided to devise new strategies like joint patrolling in some areas along the International Border (IB) in J and K as chiefs of BSF and Pakistan Rangers met against the backdrop of escalation in tension.

Pakistani troops have already violated the ceasefire eleven times in September this year.

PTI

BSF, Pakistan Rangers firm up agreement to stop ceasefire violations

BSF chief D K Pathak and Pakistani Rangers DG (Punjab), Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki in Delhi on Friday
B B Yadav
dna
In what could bring great relief to thousands of people living close to Indo-Pak border, Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers have agreed to initiate protocols to cool down tempers at the international border.Ceasefire violations in the past few months have not only killed dozens of people on both sides but also forced thousands of people living in hamlets, villages and mofussil towns to migrate to safer areas intermittently leaving their economy in a shambles.The two border guarding forces that were exchanging unprecedented fire at the international border until recently will sign a joint statement to stop ceasefire violations through enhanced communication via multiple modes at all many levels along to maintain peace, sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Adding political weight to India’s commitment, Union home minister, Rajnath Singh told Pakistan Rangers that India will not be the aggressor and will not fire the first bullet.”Why we both fire at each other — why can’t we both respect our uniform when our ultimate objective is peace at the border,” said Singh addressing officials of both the forces.”India has more Muslim population than Pakistan. India can be called as more Islamic than Pakistan,” he said. The home minister noted that India is home to all the 72 ‘firkas’ (sects) of Muslims, which no other country has.Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki, the head of Pakistan Rangers’ delegation, who is here for talks with director general of Border Security Force D K Pathak, responded, “Your country is very big and vast. It is a great nation. We also want to have very good relations with India.” The two sides have decided to implement Pre-Fire protocol in the wake of tension at border for which commandant-level meeting would be the first step, followed by a DIG-level meeting.To bring down cases of firing, the two forces are expected to agree on modality that, if necessary, they would use illumination bombs and rubber bullets before resorting to firing.Agreeing that the meeting reflected warmth and understanding to understand each other, Pakistani sources said, both sides showed willingness to amicably resolve minor issues at local level.Refuting BSF allegations of illegal border crossing, Pakistan Rangers said that the BSF is maintaining impregnable border control through fence, light, gates and other surveillance means etc, which minimises any chance of crossing through fence.”Yet, both sides agreed to work out some additional methods to further strengthen border control,” sources said.BSF agreed to share information about cartels involved behind cross border smuggling activities to help Pakistan Rangers in taking necessary actions.Pakistani sources said, their force has asked India to stop any new construction of defence structures along the western border as it is against the existing agreed norms to which BSF agreed to refer the issue to government.Pakistan Rangers registered strong objection to the killing of rangers soldiers during flag meeting to which BSF insisted to forget the past and move forward while assuring non repetition of such happenings and also agreed to conduct joint investigation in case of serious incidents happening along international border, as exists in respective areas, in future, Pakistani sources added.—With PTI inputs

BSF and Pakistan Rangers break ice: Move forward for an unscheduled meeting to increase confidence

In Friday’s meeting they are expected to thrash out modalities that could help in reducing ceasefire violations and infiltration

Pakistani Rangers director general (Punjab), major general Umar Farooq Burki presents a greeting card to a BSF jawan at the Border Security Force headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday

PTI
Contrary to speculations, Director General-level talks between Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers moved a step forward on Thursday as the two forces on a positive note decided to firm up confidence building modalities in an unscheduled meeting on Friday.The development comes as a positive sign after sudden death of NSA-level talks between the two countries on Hurriyat and Kashmir issue.”Talks were held in a cordial atmosphere, were very positive and forward looking. We hope that further firming up of modalities tomorrow (on Friday) will lead to peace at the international border,” director general of BSF, D K Pathak told dna.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Friday’s meeting the two border guarding forces are expected to thrash out modalities that could go a long way to build confidence between them thus paving the way for reduced incidents of ceasefire violations and infiltration.The coming around of Pakistan Rangers, sources said, could be attributed to a very effective response of ceasefire violations from the Indian side.”Contrary to media speculations, Pakistan Rangers team did not raise any hostile matter and was very cordial. The IB was also at peace as no ceasefire violation was reported yesterday (Wednesday) and today (Thursday). This surprised us too,” said a source privy to the meeting.The BSF is looking forward to firm up modalities on coordinated patrolling with Pakistan Rangers along the international border from Jammu to Rann of Kutch.”As joint patrolling is still a far-fetched idea given the situation between two countries, we can begin by coordinated patrolling whereby prior arrangements are made to decide who will patrol when and from which points,” said sources.In agreement that dialogue is the best way to reduce tension at the border and bring down ceasefire violations, the two sides are expected to ready a blueprint of official communication at various levels.”The idea is to have more layers of communications to talk more, meet more often as it could lead to lesser confusion and reduced firing. We are working out to have a system in place where the two sides can hold parleys whenever an exigency arises,” a senior level official said.The two border guarding forces are also looking at initiating friendly matches of team sports like football, hockey, volleyball etc. between them to reduce tension through exchange of pleasantries that games can offer.BSF sources said in Friday meeting they are hopeful of firming up modalities on the issues of construction and maintenance of defence related structure along the border and clearing of Sarkanda and foliage on Pakistan sides along the zero line to have a clear view of the border to help stop infiltration.”The two sides are also expected to fine tune the arrangements of handing over innocent people back who inadvertent crossover to eachother’s territory from both sides,” sources added.

Pakistan troops violate truce as Rangers arrive to talk peace

Director General Punjab (Pakistan) Major General Umar Farooq Burki with IG Border Security Force, Anil Paliwali in Attari on Wednesday

PTI
On the day a delegation of Pakistan Rangers arrived in India to talk peace, its troops violated the ceasefire again and fired at the BSF soldiers injuring two of them, including an officer, in the Nowgam sector of the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.The incident occurred at 11am on Wednesday when Pakistani troops sniped on the BSF jawans when they were on a routine patrol from Hira left post to Hira right post in the Nowgam sector.Two BSF soldiers, including a sub inspector-rank officer, were injured in the firing. The injured personnel have been identified as sub inspector Jawahar Lal Yadav and constable Rahul Yadav of 119 battalion of BSF.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There was a ceasefire violation (from Pakistan side) in which two of our boys got injured. Both the injured troopers are stable. It was a sniper attack,” said a BSF spokesman at Srinagar.BSF soldiers immediately swung into action and retaliated aptly to silence the Pakistani guns. Intermittent firing between the two sides was going on till the reports last came in.The fresh ceasefire violation came just hours before a 16-member Pakistan delegation led by the Rangers director general (Punjab) Major General Umar Farooq Burki landed in India to hold talks with their BSF counterparts. Director general of BSF DK Pathak will lead the 23-member Indian delegation that will discuss unprovoked cross-border shelling and infiltration bids from the other side of the International Border (IB) in Jammu.Rakesh Sharma, inspector general of BSF Jammu frontier, the area that has seen heavy shelling from Pakistan in the last two years, will also be part of the Indian delegation in the meeting.”The ceasefire violation on Wednesday shows the real intentions of Pakistan. On one side they want to talk peace while on the other they try to keep the pot boiling on the borders. They cannot hoodwink the people anymore,” said an intelligence officer. The incident occurred 15 days after Pakistani army killed Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of the army when he was guarding his picket at the Badal post along the LoC in the same sector. Official figures reveal that around 430The number of ceasefire violations occurred on the International Border in 2014 153The number of ceasefire violations reported on the LoC in 2014 8The number of soldiers, including four BSF men, who were killed in the cross border shelling. 347The number of ceasefire violations in J&K in 2013 199The number of ceasefire violations along the LoC in 2013

India-Pakistan border force talks to start on Thursday: Delegation likely to discuss ceasefire violations

New Delhi: Amid a growing war of words and firing from across the border, a high-level delegation from Pakistan crossed over to India on Wednesday and arrived in New Delhi for director-level talks between the border forces of both countries.

A 15-member team of Pakistani Rangers arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday evening, led by Major General Umar Farooq Burki, director general of the Pakistan Rangers (Punjab).

The talks, between the Rangers and the Border Security Force (BSF) will start at 10 am on Thursday, and go on till 12 September. Even as the media was briefed on Thursday’s schedule, at least two BSF jawans were injured in cross-border firing on Wednesday in Nowgam sector of Jammu and Kashmir. The delegation is expected to also discuss continuous ceasefire violations. The Pakistan Army also fired at Indian positions on Wednesday along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district.

The talks, one of the measures agreed upon during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, gain special significance after the National Security Adviser level talks could not take place due to Pakistan’s insistence on discussing Kashmir.

The delegation entered India via Attari, and was welcomed by senior BSF officers. There, they boarded a special aircraft to Delhi, where the talks will take place. At the Delhi airport, the delegation was welcomed by BSF Director General DK Pathak.

From the Indian side, a 23-member delegation led Pathak will take part in the talks.

Representative image. AFPRepresentative image. AFP

Representative image. AFP

The Indian delegation includes officials from the home ministry, the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Survey of India.

“During the conference, discussions will be held on important issues like cross-border firing, infiltration and smuggling etc. The talks will also endeavour to focus on positive issues like different levels of communication, more simultaneous coordinated patrolling and other confidence building measures,” a BSF official said.

Asked if the talks will reduce tension between the two countries, Pathak said: “That is the objective for talks.”

BSF’s former additional director general P.K. Mishra, however, said Pakistan may try to divert the agenda from the talks, as reports suggest the country may seek international monitoring of the ceasefire violations.

“Pakistan may try to divert the agenda of the meeting. It has been making attempts to put the blame of ceasefire violations on India by showing the world the damage on its side,” Mishra told IANS.

“They have been trying long to bring the UN into the picture. To show the effect of retaliatory fire by India… we don’t fire first, but we retaliate when there is firing from the other side,” the former BSF officer said.

Mishra also said Pakistan has come on the table under “international pressure” and said he was skeptical about the results.

“We have been seeing these talks for years, ceasefire violations resume as soon as talks end,” Mishra said.

With some 100 ceasefire violations along the India-Pakistan border since the Ufa talks, the issue is likely to dominates the agenda from the Indian side, sources said.

Till June this year, there have been 199 ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Official figures reveal that around 430 ceasefire violations occurred on the international border while 153 violations were reported on the LoC in 2014. In 2013, it was 347.

According to reports, Pakistan has listed in its agenda a revived role for the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) for intervening in ceasefire violations.

As per sources, issues Pakistan has placed on agenda also includes the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side, and lack of response on simultaneous coordinated patrolling along the border.

Pakistan is also expected to raise the issue of airspace violation by suspected unmanned aerial vehicles.

Pakistan had blamed India of violating its airspace when it shot down a drone in July. India, however, said the drone was not like any of those in the Indian inventory and appeared to be of a Chinese variety available off-the-shelf.

IANS

BSF personnel to get yoga lessons from Ramdev

The move basically aims at addressing the stressful and inhospitable work conditions, under which the BSF guards work, an official said.

The yoga guru will share the benefits of the ‘asanas’ and methods of busting the stress.

BSF personnel of Rajasthan Frontier headquarter, posted here and at Jaisalmer, will get lessons from yoga guru Ramdev to keep themselves mentally and physically fit while working in stressful and inhospitable work condition.Ramdev would arrive here tomorrow and conduct sessions of yoga here from September 11 to 13, and in Jaisalmer from September 14 to 16, a BSF official said.He said the development was the outcome of the endeavours of BSF IG B R Meghwal who as a part of on-going Golden Jubilee celebrations of the force decided to invite Ramdev for the benefit of BSF guards. “The move basically aims at addressing the stressful and inhospitable work conditions, under which the BSF guards work, It is very important to keep them mentally and physically fit,” said the official. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The yoga guru will share the benefits of the ‘asanas’ and methods of busting the stress and lead a healthy and composed life in difficult situation or condition. The official informed that the sessions would be open for the common people of the two cities along with the BSF personnel.

DG level talks between India, Pakistan today; ceasefire violations on agenda

The Director General level bi-annual meeting between India and Pakistan border guarding forces will take place in Delhi on Wednesday.

The Director General level bi-annual meeting between India and Pakistan border guarding forces will take place in Delhi on Wednesday.While the 15-member Pakistan delegation will be led by the senior Rangers Director General (Punjab) Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki, the 23-member Indian side would be headed by BSF DG D K Pathak during the talks and expected to raise issues like ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, including sniper attacks on BSF personnel and infiltration.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cross border firing, infiltration and smuggling are among the key issues to be discussed during the meeting.The talks will also endeavour to focus on positive issues like different levels of communication, more simultaneous coordinated patrolling and other confidence building measures.The talks between Indo-Pak border forces come after more than one-and-a-half-year. The last round was held in December 2013 in Lahore.Despite it cancelling the NSA-level talks with India which made it clear that there should not be any meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz during his visit here, Islamabad had agreed to New Delhi’s proposal on a meeting between the two border guarding forces.The Pakistani delegation is likely to stress on the activation of the UNMOGIP (UN Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan), they said.

Indo-Pak DG level talks: Pakistan Rangers team to arrive today

15-member Pakistan delegation will be led by the senior Rangers Director General (Punjab) Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burk

Pakistan had last month sent confirmation and agenda for these DG-level talks

A high-level delegation of Pakistani Rangers will arrive here tomorrow to hold the much- anticipated bilateral talks with their counterparts BSF on Thursday on key issues including ceasefire violations and cross-border infiltration. The talks between Indo-Pak border forces come after more than one-and-a-half-year. The last round was held in December 2013 in Lahore.Despite it cancelling the NSA-level talks with India which made it clear that there should not be any meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz during his visit here, Islamabad had agreed to New Delhi’s proposal on a meeting between the two border guarding forces. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the 15-member Pakistan delegation will be led by the senior Rangers Director General (Punjab) Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki, the 23-member Indian side would be headed by BSF DG D K Pathak during the talks and expected to raise issues like ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, including sniper attacks on BSF personnel and infiltration. “The talks will also endeavour to focus on positive issues like different levels of communication, more simultaneous coordinated patrolling and other confidence building measures,” a BSF statement said.According to sources, extra stress would be on the “most important” issue of breach of ceasefire in J&K which has led to loss of lives of civilians and troops and “unprovoked” firing by the Rangers along the IB. The issue of “no response” by the other side when BSF waves the ‘white flag’ which is used to indicate stopping of fire and meeting of on-ground commanders of the two sides will also be taken up. The BSF will also take up the issue of intrusion in the ‘Harami Nallah’ area of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, smuggling of contraband from across the border and illegal movement of suspects up to the zero line area along the IB in order to facilitate illegal activities.Pakistan had last month sent confirmation and agenda for these DG-level which included issues like the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side and air space violations by suspected unmanned aerial vehicles. According to Pakistan High Commission sources, serious concerns on the infiltration from the Indian side in Punjab and Rajasthan and who were involved in sabotage activities there will be raised during the talks. The Pakistani delegation will also stress on the activation of the UNMOGIP (UN Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan), they said. However, India has always maintained that the UN group has lost its relevance and therefore, was redundant. Pakistan has also listed alleged construction of defence infrastructure along the border, firing by taking aid of ‘Sarkanda’ (thick bushes), no response on Simultaneous Coordinated Patrolling (SCP) along this frontier, smuggling and apprehension and killing of civilians in their agenda for talks. The Rangers have also alleged that the Indian side has not been responding to their request of flag meetings when they desire and have claimed use of heavy ammunition by India during cross-border firing.The delegation which will also have second Rangers DG (Sindh) Maj Gen Bilal Akbar is expected to cross over the Attari-Wagah land border in Punjab by 12 noon tomorrow and after a ceremonial reception by BSF commanders, they will leave from Amritsar airport on a special BSF plane for Delhi. The talks will begin on September 10 after a ceremonial guard of honour by the BSF at their headquarters here and a joint record of discussions will be signed on September 12 by the two DGs.The ties between the two sides have been strained because of ceasefire violations along the International Border and the Line of Control and other issues. The two sides will also stress for the release of prisoners in the jails of the either countries. During the talks, the BSF is also expected to propose initiation of some sporting tournaments between the two sides on the lines of a similar arrangement with Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).”However, the proposal is subject to acceptance by the Rangers,” a senior official said.

Pakistan Rangers team to arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday to hold talks with BSF

New Delhi: A high-level delegation of Pakistan Rangers will arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday to hold the much-anticipated bilateral talks with their counterparts BSF on Thursday on key issues including ceasefire violations and cross-border infiltration.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The talks between Indo-Pak border forces come after more than one-and-a-half-year. The last round was held in December 2013 in Lahore.

Despite it cancelling the NSA-level talks with India which made it clear that there should not be any meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz during his visit in New Delhi, Islamabad had agreed to New Delhi’s proposal on a meeting between the two border guarding forces.

While the 15-member Pakistan delegation will be led by the senior Rangers Director General (Punjab) Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki, the 23-member Indian side would be headed by BSF DG DK Pathak during the talks and expected to raise issues like ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, including sniper attacks on BSF personnel and infiltration.

“The talks will also endeavour to focus on positive issues like different levels of communication, more simultaneous coordinated patrolling and other confidence building measures,” a BSF statement said.

According to sources, extra stress would be on the “most important” issue of breach of ceasefire in J&K which has led to loss of lives of civilians and troops and “unprovoked” firing by the Rangers along the IB. The issue of “no response” by the other side when BSF waves the ‘white flag’ which is used to indicate stopping of fire and meeting of on-ground commanders of the two sides will also be taken up.

The BSF will also take up the issue of intrusion in the ‘Harami Nallah’ area of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, smuggling of contraband from across the border and illegal movement of suspects up to the zero line area along the IB in order to facilitate illegal activities.

Pakistan had last month sent confirmation and agenda for these DG-level which included issues like the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side and air space violations by suspected unmanned aerial vehicles.

According to Pakistan High Commission sources, serious concerns on the infiltration from the Indian side in Punjab and Rajasthan and who were involved in sabotage activities there will be raised during the talks.

The Pakistani delegation will also stress on the activation of the UNMOGIP (UN Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan), they said. However, India has always maintained that the UN group has lost its relevance and therefore, was redundant.

Pakistan has also listed alleged construction of defence infrastructure along the border, firing by taking aid of ‘Sarkanda’ (thick bushes), no response on Simultaneous Coordinated Patrolling (SCP) along this frontier, smuggling and apprehension and killing of civilians in their agenda for talks.

The Rangers have also alleged that the Indian side has not been responding to their request of flag meetings when they desire and have claimed use of heavy ammunition by India during cross-border firing.

The delegation which will also have second Rangers DG (Sindh) Maj Gen Bilal Akbar is expected to cross over the Attari-Wagah land border in Punjab by 12 noon on Wednesday and after a ceremonial reception by BSF commanders, they will leave from Amritsar airport on a special BSF plane for Delhi.

The talks will begin on 10 September after a ceremonial guard of honour by the BSF at their headquarters in New Delhi and a joint record of discussions will be signed on 12 September by the two DGs.

The ties between the two sides have been strained because of ceasefire violations along the International Border and the Line of Control and other issues.

The two sides will also stress for the release of prisoners in the jails of the either countries.

PTI

NIA brings LeT operative held in Udhampur attack

Earlier, the anti-terror agency had arrested Khursheed Ahmed, who ferried the terrorists to Jammu on two occasions.

He is said to be an overground worker of LeT (File Photo of NIA in J&K)

Showkat Ahmed Bhat, arrested by NIA in connection with last month’s Udhampur terror strike on a BSF bus that left its two personnel dead, was brought here this evening for a scientific analysis of his statements and will be subjected to a lie detector test. A resident of Pulwama in south Kashmir, Bhat was placed under arrest on September one by NIA which is probing the case in which two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan attacked a BSF bus in Jammu’s Udhampur and killed its two personnel. One of the attackers identified as Mohammed Noman alias Momin was killed in retaliatory fire, while another Mohammed Naved Yakub was captured alive by villagers and handed over to the police.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bhat will be produced before a court tomorrow for seeking permission for carrying out the polygraph test on him at the central forensic science laboratory, official sources said. He was in the custody of Jammu and Kashmir police immediately after the terror strike on August five and was booked under sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act. NIA said 36-year-old Bhat was allegedly involved in transporting a group of four LeT terrorists–Mohammad Naved Yakub, Zhargham alias Mohammed Bhai, Abu Okasa and Noman from Baba Reshi in Baramulla district to south Kashmir soon after they had infiltrated India from PoK.He is said to be an overground worker of LeT. Earlier, the anti-terror agency had arrested Khursheed Ahmed, who ferried the terrorists to Jammu on two occasions.

BSF-Pak Rangers meet from Sept 9, ceasefire violations, infiltration key agenda

The Rangers in their agenda have included issues like the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side and air space violations by suspected Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The BSF will also take up the issue of intrusion in the ‘Harami Nallah’ area of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, smuggling of contraband from across the border and illegal movement of suspects

Ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, including sniper attacks, infiltration, intrusion in Rann of Kutch and smuggling are among the key issues India is expected to raise with Pakistan during the five-day DG level talks between their border guarding forces from September 9. A 16-member delegation headed by Pakistan Rangers Director General (Punjab) Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki is expected to travel to Attari-Wagah border crossing in Punjab on September 8 and later fly down from Amritsar to participate in the talks here with the Border Security Force from September 9-13, officials said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian delegation with as many members will be led by BSF chief Devendra Kumar Pathak. The Indian agenda for the talks has put extra stress on the “most important” issue of breach of ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir which has led to loss of lives of civilians and troops and “unprovoked” firing by the Rangers along the IB, they said. The Indian side will also take up the issue of “no response” by the other side when BSF waves the ‘white flag’ which is used to indicate stopping of fire and meeting of on-ground commanders of the two sides.The BSF will also take up the issue of intrusion in the ‘Harami Nallah’ area of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, smuggling of contraband from across the border and illegal movement of suspects up to the zero line area along the IB in order to facilitate illegal activities. Issues of infiltration from across the border and use of sniper weapons to target troops manning border posts will also be raised. Pakistan had last month sent confirmation and agenda for these DG-level talks despite it calling off the meeting of the NSAs of the two countries a fortnight ago after India made it clear that Kashmiri separatist leaders would not be allowed to meet Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz during his visit here.The Rangers in their agenda have included issues like the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side and air space violations by suspected Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The have also listed alleged construction of defence infrastructure along the border, firing by taking aid of ‘Sarkanda’ (thick bushes), no response on Simultaneous Coordinated Patrolling (SCP) along this frontier, smuggling and apprehension and killing of civilians.The Rangers, whose delegation will not have DG from Sindh, have also alleged that the Indian side has not been responding to their request of flag meetings when they desire and have claimed use of heavy ammunition by India during cross-border firing. The decision on meeting of NSAs and heads of border guards was taken during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif when they met in Russia’s Ufa in July.Upon their arrival in India, the Rangers delegation will be secured by an elite commando squad of the BSF, armed with sophisticated weapons and vehicles, which has been specially chosen for the task. The BSF had earlier sent an invite for DG-level talks in early 2014. The last time the two sides met was in December 2013 when a BSF delegation travelled to Lahore. Since then, the ties have been strained because of ceasefire violations along the International Border and the Line of Control and other issues. The Indian side would have officials drawn from border management division of the Home Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs, officials from states bordering the IB, sleuths of the Narcotics Control Bureau and those from the Survey of India among others.The Pakistani delegation is expected to have senior officials from its security establishment including those from the Interior Ministry

Ceasefire violations, infiltration issues to be raised during BSF-Pakistan Rangers meet

New Delhi: Repeated violation of ceasefire and frequent infiltration attempts by terrorists will be in top agenda of the meeting between heads of border guards of India and Pakistan to be held in New Delhi next week.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The meeting between chiefs of Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers will be held from 9 to 13 September, a fortnight after the cancellation of NSA talks between India and Pakistan.

“The agenda for the meeting has been exchanged by the two sides. From Indian side, we will raise the issue of repeated ceasefire violation and frequent infiltration attempts by terrorists,” a senior official said.

Killings of civilians living along the border due to firing from Pakistan will be forcefully raised by the BSF. The Pakistan Rangers are also expected to raise the same issue as they have been claiming casualties in their side too.

BSF is keen to take up the issue of infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan, with the particular case being the recent one in which the infiltrators struck in Gurdaspur and Udhampur.

The Indian side will also take up the issue of smuggling of Fake Indian Currency Notes and drugs as also unauthorised construction of defence infrastructure, the official said.

Confirmation by Pakistan for the DG-level talks comes despite it calling off the NSA talks a fortnight ago after India made it clear that Kashmiri separatist leaders would not be allowed to meet Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz during his visit here.

The decision on meeting of NSAs and heads of border guards was taken during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia, on 10 July.

PTI

India, Pakistan must avoid ‘winner-takes-all’ approach to avoid a repeat of NSA-level fiasco

First, the big news. The next round of India-Pakistan talks at the level of Chiefs of Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers in New Delhi beginning from 9 September is on track.

This in itself is a big move forward considering that the NSA-level talks between the two sides have just been scuppered amid cacophony.

The primary agenda of these talks would be issues like cross-border firing or infiltration or the like. Pakistan has already upped its ante by pushing a 13-point agenda and it remains to be seen how the Indians respond to the Pakistani wish list.

Representational image. Image courtesy: ReutersRepresentational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

Representational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

However, the success or failure of these talks would depend on how much the two sides are willing to give and take. The fact remains that the two sides engaging in bilateral talks close on the heels of flop show of the NSA talks.

The ground situation does not paint a rosy picture. Both sides are to be blamed equally for this.

The two sides have been guilty of tackling the NSA talks in a ham-handed manner. Both took the kind of diplomatic positions which are normally taken in war-time situations, not like the normal diplomatic template they should have resorted to.

The genesis of the problem lay in the Ufa statement which was read out jointly by the two foreign secretaries. The main problem in the Ufa statement was that each side practiced the flawed approach of winner-takes-it-all. This kind of situation works well only in war situations, not in diplomacy.

Diplomacy is all about give and take. The main problem in the Ufa flop show was that the two sides tried to go back home with concrete deliverables without caring for the other side.

Indians exulted claiming that they stood tall at Ufa and did not allow Pakistan to raise the K word. This practically hemmed in the Pakistani side, which went back home with guilt, rather than the feeling of some achievement.

The end result was that the Indian victory proved to be hollow. The moment the Pakistani interlocutors in Ufa returned home, they realised that the Ufa statement was well past its sell-by date and that there was nothing in the Ufa spirit that they needed to care about, leave alone think about implementation.

Thus, the Ufa agreement did not work from the Pakistani viewpoint. This is not the way diplomacy should be practiced. Both sides have to take care of each other’s political considerations and compulsions for any understanding to be finalized.

This was the primary reason for the fiasco that eventually exploded in the face of India and Pakistan as they sought to engage with each other at the NSA level.

Ideally, India should have agreed to the text of “both sides agreeing to resolve all outstanding bilateral issues, including Jammu and Kashmir”. The heavens would not have fallen because of this plain speak, as Jammu and Kashmir is without doubt an outstanding bilateral dispute. This has been one of the major sticking points between the two nuclear armed neighbours for decades and India wouldn’t have been making a compromise if it were to mention it upfront in a bilateral statement with Pakistan.

But this was not to happen. The Modi government got a chance to indulge in chest thumping by telling Indians back at home that it did not allow Pakistan to raise the K word without realising that the Ufa statement wouldn’t survive even for a minute in Pakistan once the Pakistani interlocutors reach home. This is precisely what happened and the Ufa spirit was killed.

This is the hard lesson that both India and Pakistan need to learn from Ufa and re-calibrate their future bilateral engagements if they want this process to pay dividends.

Thus far, the India-Pakistan engagements have been high on sound and fury, but abysmally low on the delivery quotient.

The upcoming talks between the heads of BSF and Pakistan Rangers provide yet another opportunity to try genuine diplomacy and give a new life to bilateral ties. It remains to be seen whether this can be done. If the Past history is an indication, this is not possible unless the two sides change their approach.

*The writer is Firstpost Consulting Editor and a strategic analyst who tweets @kishkindha

To avoid a repeat of NSA-level fiasco, India, Pakistan must avoid a ‘winner-takes-all’ approach

First, the big news. The next round of India-Pakistan talks at the level of Chiefs of Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers in New Delhi beginning from 9 September is on track.

This in itself is a big move forward considering that the NSA-level talks between the two sides have just been scuppered amid cacophony.

The primary agenda of these talks would be issues like cross-border firing or infiltration or the like. Pakistan has already upped its ante by pushing a 13-point agenda and it remains to be seen how the Indians respond to the Pakistani wish list.

Representational image. Image courtesy: ReutersRepresentational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

Representational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

However, the success or failure of these talks would depend on how much the two sides are willing to give and take. The fact remains that the two sides engaging in bilateral talks close on the heels of flop show of the NSA talks.

The ground situation does not paint a rosy picture. Both sides are to be blamed equally for this.

The two sides have been guilty of tackling the NSA talks in a ham-handed manner. Both took the kind of diplomatic positions which are normally taken in war-time situations, not like the normal diplomatic template they should have resorted to.

The genesis of the problem lay in the Ufa statement which was read out jointly by the two foreign secretaries. The main problem in the Ufa statement was that each side practiced the flawed approach of winner-takes-it-all. This kind of situation works well only in war situations, not in diplomacy.

Diplomacy is all about give and take. The main problem in the Ufa flop show was that the two sides tried to go back home with concrete deliverables without caring for the other side.

Indians exulted claiming that they stood tall at Ufa and did not allow Pakistan to raise the K word. This practically hemmed in the Pakistani side, which went back home with guilt, rather than the feeling of some achievement.

The end result was that the Indian victory proved to be hollow. The moment the Pakistani interlocutors in Ufa returned home, they realised that the Ufa statement was well past its sell-by date and that there was nothing in the Ufa spirit that they needed to care about, leave alone think about implementation.

Thus, the Ufa agreement did not work from the Pakistani viewpoint. This is not the way diplomacy should be practiced. Both sides have to take care of each other’s political considerations and compulsions for any understanding to be finalized.

This was the primary reason for the fiasco that eventually exploded in the face of India and Pakistan as they sought to engage with each other at the NSA level.

Ideally, India should have agreed to the text of “both sides agreeing to resolve all outstanding bilateral issues, including Jammu and Kashmir”. The heavens would not have fallen because of this plain speak, as Jammu and Kashmir is without doubt an outstanding bilateral dispute. This has been one of the major sticking points between the two nuclear armed neighbours for decades and India wouldn’t have been making a compromise if it were to mention it upfront in a bilateral statement with Pakistan.

But this was not to happen. The Modi government got a chance to indulge in chest thumping by telling Indians back at home that it did not allow Pakistan to raise the K word without realising that the Ufa statement wouldn’t survive even for a minute in Pakistan once the Pakistani interlocutors reach home. This is precisely what happened and the Ufa spirit was killed.

This is the hard lesson that both India and Pakistan need to learn from Ufa and re-calibrate their future bilateral engagements if they want this process to pay dividends.

Thus far, the India-Pakistan engagements have been high on sound and fury, but abysmally low on the delivery quotient.

The upcoming talks between the heads of BSF and Pakistan Rangers provide yet another opportunity to try genuine diplomacy and give a new life to bilateral ties. It remains to be seen whether this can be done. If the Past history is an indication, this is not possible unless the two sides change their approach.

*The writer is Firstpost Consulting Editor and a strategic analyst who tweets @kishkindha

Udhampur attack: National Investigative Agency arrests the second driver

The Afghan national, who is said to be in his teens, was supposed to accompany LeT militant Mohamad Naved and his accomplice Noman, but refused to be a part of the attack at the last moment.

The National Investigative Agency on Tuesday arrested a 36-year-old resident of south Kashmir for his alleged role in the Lashkar-e-Taiba-led ambush on a BSF convoy in Udhampur. The accused, a driver by profession, is said to have allegedly transported the LeT militants who ambushed a BSF convoy killing two soldiers on August 5. The accused, identified as Showkat Ahmed Bhat, is the second driver to be arrested by the NIA. The agency last month arrested another truck driver identified as Khursheed Ahmed who initially was accused of ferrying the militants to Udhampur on two occasions one on July 20 and on August 5, the day of the attack.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On August 23 dna had reported that in fact Khursheed was not the driver who had transported the LeT men on August 5. Sources had told dna that the agency was searching for Showkat, a resident of south Kashmir’s Pulwama and had added that in fact Khursheed was driver who had brought the three men back to the Valley when a third militant, an Afghan National, showed reluctance to be a part of the ‘mission’ which at that time was to take place on August 4.The Afghan national, who is said to be in his teens, was supposed to accompany LeT militant Mohamad Naved and his accomplice Noman, but refused to be a part of the attack at the last moment.Sources had told dna that reasons behind his reluctance are not clear but questioning of Naved and others who had a role to play in the attack revealed that the Afghan ‘was not motivated enough to carry out the assault’.”The driver of the truck, identified as Khursheed, tried to counsel the Afghan but he refused to comply as a result of which they returned to the Valley. The next day, that was August 5,only Naved and Noman left for Udhampur along with a different driver who was identified as Showkat,” said a source adding that the Afghan militant is still on the run.While Noman was killed during the fierce encounter, Naved was captured by a group villagers whom he had tried to take as hostages. He was later handed over to the police.”Showkat was involved in transporting a group of four LeT terrorists, including Mohammed Naveed, from near Baba Rishi in district Baramulla, soon after they had infiltrated into India from PoK. He will be produced before the Special NIA Judge, Jammu for obtaining his Police Custody for further investigation. This is the third arrest made by NIA in this case, so far,” said an NIA official.According to the agency, Showkat, in June this year was booked under sections of the The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Arms act. He had been accused of facilitating terrorist activities in the state.

Pakistan shelling kills three, injures 17 in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu: Two people were killed and 16 others were injured when Pakistani Rangers heavily shelled civilian areas and Army posts along the International Border in R S Pura and Arnia sectors of Jammu district on Friday, drawing retaliation from the BSF.

“Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing. Initially small arms were used but later on mortars bombs were shelled on BSF posts and civilian areas in R S Pura and Arnia sectors since midnight”, a BSF spokesman said.

The firing and mortar shelling started around 0145 hours along the IB in Kishanpur, Jora Form, Jugnu Chak, Nawapind, harna, Sia, Abdullian and Chandu Chak areas, a police officer said.

The Pakistani troops fired mortar bombs and used automatic weapons in the firing. The shelling was so heavy that the shells landed deep inside villages much away from IB, he said. Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said two persons are dead and 16 others were injured. He said there were reports that another person has also been killed in the firing.

Representational image. AP.Representational image. AP.

Representational image. AP.

However, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal told PTI that three persons were killed in the firing. BSF troops guarding the border retaliated resulting in heavy exchanges which are going on when the reports last came in from the area, they said.

“Undeterred and resolute BSF troops deployed in these forward post areas gave a befitting reply and fired on the forward areas of Pakistan along the Line of Control, reportedly, causing damage to them”, the officer said.

“No damage and casualty to BSF troops on own side has been reported till the last reports came in”, he added. There have been 55 violations of the border ceasefire agreement of 2003 by Pakistan in August and over 245 ceasefire violations during the year so far.

Pakistani Rangers had pounded civilian areas and military positions along the International Border (IB) in R S pura and Arnia sectors of Jammu district on the intervening night of August 17-18, injuring a villager.

On the intervening night of August 16-17, Pakistan troops had resorted to ceasefire violations in Saujiyan and Mandi sectors of Poonch district and shelled forward posts and civilian areas with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs and heavy machine guns (HMGs).

On August 16, a woman was killed and five persons were injured as Pakistani troops fired 120 mm and 82 mm mortars bombs, HMGs and RPGs on border posts and civilian areas in Poonch and Rajouri districts.

On Independence Day, six civilians, including a sarpanch were killed and five others injured in heavy firing and mortar bomb shelling by Pakistani troops at several Indian posts and civilian areas. Last month, there were 19 ceasefire violations in which four persons, including three jawans, were killed and 14 others injured.

Meanwhile, Pakistan military claimed that at least six civilians were killed and 46 others, including 22 women, were injured in alleged firing from the Indian side in the Charwa Sector near the Sialkot Working Boundary.

PTI