Amid increasing instances of ceasefire violations along the border by Pakistani troops, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday said Indian forces had been asked to give a “fitting reply” to unprovoked incidents of firing. On the other hand, the Border Security Force (BSF) said it had fortified its forward positions and was “prepared” to retaliate against firing by Pakistan.

Asked about the heavy firing along the border in Jammu and Kashmir in which over 50 BSF border outposts (BOPs) were targeted on Tuesday night and which left one jawan dead, Mr. Shinde said: “We will give a fitting reply to Pakistan … Additional BSF troops are being sent to man the International Border (IB).”

The Union Home Minister also noted that there had been an increase in infiltration attempts in recent months which the Pakistani Army and troops guarding the borders had turned a blind eye to. “There are rivers and rivulets [along the border] which are tough to fence… But we have discussed possible solutions with our forces to thwart any infiltration attempt,” Mr. Shinde added.

Amid Mr. Shinde’s announcement that more troops were being sent to border areas to man BOPs and increase patrolling along the border, BSF (IG) Ashok Kumar said they were prepared to deal with the attempts by Pakistani forces to target Indian troops and citizens living in border areas.

“We are prepared… We are ready [to answer any kind of ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops]. We have been and we will continue to retaliate against firing from the other side,” Mr. Kumar told The Hindu. Referring to the heavy firing on Tuesday night, Mr. Kumar said Pakistani troops continuously targeted BSF’s 50 BOPs between 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday and 4 a.m. on Wednesday, killing one jawan and injuring six others. This year there have been almost 150 cases of ceasefire violations, with 40 such incidents this month alone.

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