Pakistan Rangers on Tuesday shot and hacked to death an injured BSF head constable and even attempted to gouge his eyes out along the International Border (IB) in J&K’s Ramgarh sector, official sources said.
The body of Head Constable Narender Kumar of D Coy 176 Bn was found near the international border late Tuesday evening with three bullet wounds in the chest, shoulder and right leg, and the throat slit.
The incident took place a day after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated two smart fence pilot projects, which form part of the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) along the IB in Jammu to check infiltration from Pakistan.
Quoting from this Indian Express report –
“Sources said the head constable was deployed at BSF’s Majra post and was part of a six-member team clearing “sarkanda” (wild grass) on the Indian side ahead of the barbed wire fence. The Rangers suddenly opened fire and took the BSF team by surprise, sources said. While Kumar was injured, others retaliated and returned to a safe location.
On realising that Kumar had been left behind, sources said the BSF launched a search in the area, which led to his helmet and bloodstains, with the trail leading to the Pakistani side.
Suspecting that Rangers had taken the injured head constable, BSF officers contacted their Pakistani counterparts, who denied knowledge about the missing personnel, sources said.
Even as senior BSF officials, including Jammu Frontiers IG Ram Avtar, reached the site, the search continued for nearly eight hours before Kumar’s body was found near the spot from where he had gone missing late Tuesday.
Sources said the body had wounds from bullets fired at a close range.”
This is the first incident of Pakistani troops slitting the throat & mutilating a BSF personnel along the international border in J&K. Since 1999, there have been various incidents of mutilation of bodies of Bharatiya soldiers by Pakistani troops and its border action teams comprising terrorists from LeT, Hizbul Mujahideen etc along the LoC (Line of Control).
DG #BSF and all ranks salute the supreme sacrifice of Head Constable Narender Kumar & offer condolence to the family of the braveheart.
HC Narender attained martyrdom on 18 Sep,2018 in an unprovoked Pak firing across #Jammu #IB#अमरप्रहरी#BharatKeVeer pic.twitter.com/zQx7N3f4HU
— BSF (@BSF_India) September 19, 2018
A Hindustan Times report corroborates the above version of events, and further adds –
“The BSF jawan was ambushed, his weapon was confiscated and his throat was slit. An attempt was made to gouge his eyes out,” an intelligence official said in Jammu.
The Pakistan Rangers did not respond for six hours to requests to allow for a search operation, and, when they eventually did, they did not cooperate fully, a second government official in New Delhi told Hindustan Times, asking not to be named.
The Border Security Force then waited for the sun to set and launched a “risky operation” to bring the jawan’s body back to the post by “late evening”, the official added. “The jawan had been dragged to the Pakistani side.”
In a statement, BSF confirmed Kumar’s death and said that he was part of a patrol party that came under fire while clearing tall grass close to the boundary.“
This brutal and unprecedented incident has prompted the security forces to issue a “high alert” across the entire IB and the Line of Control (LoC) even as the Border Security Force has lodged a strong complaint with its counterparts – the Pakistan Rangers.
NDTV sings a different tune
NDTV has filed two reports on 19 September regarding this incident.
The first article was a PTI news feed which appeared at 16:20 IST and is true to the official version that other media outlets have reported.
However, being self-appointed experts on everything to do with Pakistan, NDTV seems to have activated its senior ‘star’ journalist Nidhi Razdan to report on the incident. Subsequently, at 17:34 IST, NDTV published another article carrying Nidhi Razdan’s byline –
This is where things get interesting. The opening paragraph of the article claims BSF as saying that Head Constable Narendra Singh (sic) had “crossed over inadvertently”.
Leaving aside the sloppy error of getting the name of a martyred soldier wrong (Narendra Singh) when your website’s own article just an hour back got the name right (Narendra Kumar), this statement gives an entirely different hue to the whole episode. “Crossing over” means the BSF constable was on Pakistani territory, and opens up the question of what he was doing there? It gives wiggle room to Pakistan to escape accountability for an act of barbarism by their security forces that violates international law & military code of conduct.
NO OTHER media outlet has reported any BSF statement or source as saying that Head Constable Narendra Kumar “crossed over” – they all have consistently reported that Narendra Kumar was part of a routine BSF patrol that was clearing tall grass on the Indian side of the International border, albeit a little ahead of the barbed wire fence. They report that the jawan was injured in unprovoked Pakistan firing and the blood trail shows he was dragged to the Pakistani side where he was mutilated and executed at close range.
What do NDTV and Nidhi Razdan know that the rest of us, including BSF, don’t? Or is NDTV trying to muddy the issue to prevent ‘tensions escalating’ with Pakistan, which appears to be their greater objective rather than getting justice for a brutally murdered Indian jawan?
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