NEW DELHI: A BSF soldier’s throat was slit by Pakistani troops along the international border or IB near Jammu on Tuesday, in an incident that is likely to ratchet up tension between the neighbours at a low point in ties. Head constable Narendra Singh’s mutilated body was found hours after he “crossed over inadvertently”, said the BSF.
Narendra Singh was part of a BSF or Border Security Force patrol that had gone near the fence to clear tall elephant grass or “sarkanda”.
The BSF said while such groups are routinely sent to remove wild growth to clear the view along the border, on Tuesday there was unprovoked firing by Pakistanis.
“The firing of Pakistan side was retaliated by the patrol and they tactically extricated themselves. The patrol found one of their members missing,” the BSF said in a statement.
The soldiers called for reinforcements to launch a search for missing jawan. The area between fence and the International Border is “undulating, marshy and has thick sarkanda growth which made the search difficult”, the BSF said.
The soldier’s body with multiple wounds was found near the India-Pakistan fence after over six hours. The Pakistanis made the search difficult by “not responding” to calls to ensure that the BSF search parties were not fired upon.
The BSF waited for sunset to bring the jawan’s body back to the post.
Officials in the security establishment say the incident has been taken “very seriously” by the government, the foreign ministry and the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO).
Security forces have put out a “high alert” across the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC) after what they termed a brutal killing. The BSF has lodged a strong complaint with the Pakistan Rangers.