Amritsar: India on Saturday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over the firing of three rockets from across the border that exploded two kilometres inside Punjab.
The issue was raised at a flag meeting between the Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistani Rangers in the wee hours after the missiles landed in open fields in Modhey and Dhoneya Khurd villages in Attari sector on the Indo-Pak border, prompting retaliatory gunfire from the Indian border troops.
There was no damage or casualty on the Indian side due to the Pakistani action on Friday night, BSF inspector general Himmat Singh said.
A BSF jawan collects the remains of a rocket fired from across the border at a village in Wagah sector, some 40 kilometers from Amritsar. PTI photo
“We held a flag meeting at about 1 am and made a very strong protest to them (Pakistani Rangers) about this incident,” he told reporters here.
“Yesterday night, at about 10 pm, the BSF troops posted at Pulkanjini border outpost saw flashlights and firing from Pakistan territory and after a very short gap, they heard explosions,” Singh said.
“Our troops on the border retaliated immediately, very strongly... after that no incident of fire from Pakistani side was reported,” he said.
“Three rockets were fired from Pakistani side. There was no damage but it raises suspicion about developments on the other side of the border,” a BSF official said.
During the meeting, the Rangers “feigned ignorance (about the incident) but said they will look into it,” he said.
New Delhi suspects that the border incidents were mainly aimed at diverting attention of the Indian forces to push in infiltrators.
In the flag meeting, which was held at the joint check post at the international border in Attari, commandant H S Dhillon led the BSF delegation while wing commander Akbar Bhatt was leading the delegation of Pakistan Rangers.
“The firing from Pakistan may be an attempt to demoralise the villagers as well as newly-deployed woman BSF constables,” Baljit Singh, panchayat member of a border village, said.
For the first time in the history of BSF, 16 women constables of the force were deployed on Friday at Rorawali village near Attari border to facilitate frisking of ladies.
The step was taken following demands from farmers to let village women pass the barbed fencing wire on the border to their agricultural fields within Indian territory.