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Respite from shelling likely; Commanders agree to keep talks going

The sector commanders of the Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers met on Monday amid continuous shelling and firing along the International Border in Jammu. A BSF statement said the meeting was likely to bring a “firing-free” environment for villagers on both sides of the border.
The last meeting of sector commanders was held in January — during the last spell of heavy shelling and cross-border firing.
Till May 22, more than 1,200 ceasefire violations and cross-border firing incidents were reported on the International Border and the Line of Control. As many as 46 people, including 20 security personnel, had been killed in the firing.
A senior BSF official said representatives of the Pakistan Rangers denied that they fired first.
Their meeting comes a week after the Directors-General of India and Pakistan agreed to implement the 2003 ceasefire pact in “letter and spirit”.
“After the DGMOs spoke last week, there was a lull on the border for two days. The firing started with full force after the brief suspension. Two BSF jawans were killed on Sunday,” a senior BSF official said.
Monday’s meeting was held around 5.30 p.m. near the BSF’s octroi post in Jammu region. “The prime focus was to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border. Today’s [Monday’s] meeting is likely to bring a firing-free environment, particularly for border area villagers on both sides. Commanders on both sides agreed to keep the talks on at every level to develop confidence between two border guarding forces,” a BSF statement said. The next meeting is on June 21.

Rajnath for Srinagar

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to visit Srinagar on June 6. This will be his first visit after the Centre announced suspension of operations during Ramzan.
An official said that since May 16, when Ramzan commenced, 19 law and order incidents were reported in the State, whereas 71 were reported from May 1 to 15. There was, however, an increase in the number of security personnel who were injured.
From May 1 to 15, six were injured; it increased to 15, said a senior official.

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