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Armed forces responding adequately to Pakistan provocations: Jaitley



Jangipur/New Delhi: Amid repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley Sunday said there has been a series of "provocations" by Pakistani Army and the country's armed forces are "responding adequately".

"I have said on Saturday and repeating it Sunday that there has been a series of provocations from the Pakistani Army in the last few fays," he told reporters on the sidelines of inauguration of Murshidabad campus of Management Development Institute (MDI).

He said the country's armed forces on the LoC and BSF on the international border are "fully protecting both our territory and people".

"Whatever response is required are being adequately made by them," the defence minister said.

Meanwhile, Border Security Force (BSF) Director General DK Pathak said India is strongly responding to the firing from Pakistan.

"The BSF is effectively and strongly responding to the firing and will continue to do so. Our volume and intensity of target fire is more effective than theirs (Pakistan)," Pathak said in a press conference.

Pathak said firing from Pakistan has been continuing since August 16.

"The Pakistan forces are attacking mostly the civilian areas," he said.

The BSF chief said the Pakistani media reported that five people have been killed and 16 others injured on their side, "while in our side, two people were killed and seven others have been injured".

Meanwhile police in Jammu said that the Pakistan Rangers on Sunday continued to use long range weapons to target BSF posts and villages in RS Pura and Arnia areas near the international border in Jammu district.

"Pakistan rangers used long range weapons to target almost all the BSF border outposts in RS Pura and Arnia in addition to villages close to the border in these areas," a senior police officer said.

"Pakistan firing started at 10pm last night and continued intermittently during the night. They fired at 12 BSF outposts in RS Pura and 10 in Arnia sectors," he added.

"Since Pakistan rangers are using long range weapons, 28 villages in these areas are directly in the line of Pakistan fire."

"BSF troops are effectively retaliating and intermittent firing is still on," he said.

Jammu Divisional Commissioner Shantmanu said the administration is prepared to accommodate at safer places possible migrants from border villages in these areas.

"We are ready to meet any eventuality. Our contingency plans are in place to provide all possible relief to people who might move out of their villages if tensions escalate," the official said.

Although the state government says only 1,000 villagers have so far moved out to safer accommodations, eye-witnesses in these areas say over 3,000 villagers have taken shelter at safe places out of villages in RS Pura and Arnia areas in Jammu.

In Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah termed frequent violations of the ceasefire as a "matter of serious concern", and expressed hope that the Central government would reconsider its decision of cancelling talks with Pakistan in order to end the border hostilities.

"I hope that there is some rethink on this (calling off of talks with Pakistan)," Omar told reporters after addressing a public meeting.

"The ceasefire violations are increasing in intensity.  They are no longer confined only to BSF posts. By design now, civilian areas are being targeted, civilians are being killed and injured. People are being forced to migrate from border areas," he added.

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