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Senior BSF officer killed in Jammu mine blast

Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: A Border Security Force Deputy Inspector-General was killed and two soldiers were injured when an improvised explosive device went off on the international border in the Samba sector of Jammu on Monday morning.

DIG O.P. Tanwar was killed while on a visit to the Ballad post following reports of militant infiltration in the area. While inspecting the spot which, sources said, was a “very secure area,” his vehicle drove over a landmine. DIG Tanwar died on the spot while head constable Sham Dogra and constable Sanjeev Kumar were seriously injured.

The injured troopers were removed to the Government Medical College Hospital, Jammu. The BSF’s 59th battalion was posted in the area at the time of the blast.

Inquiry ordered

Speaking to The Hindu on the phone, K. Srinivas, DIG at the BSF headquarters in Delhi, said the BSF guards had noticed movement of militants on the Pakistani side through thermal images on Sunday night. DIG Tanwar, he said, had gone to area to assess the situation but “it is a sandy area and we were not expecting anything like this.”

He said an inquiry had been ordered into the incident.

Mr. Srinivas said India would be registering its protest during a flag meeting between the Indian and Pakistani sides in the same sector, possibly on Tuesday.

Two soldiers killed

Meanwhile, two soldiers and two militants were killed in a gunbattle in Kupwara and Pulwama districts of Kashmir.

Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel J.S. Brar said troops of the 9 Rajput and 161 battalion of the Territorial Army confronted a group of infiltrating militants at the Keran sector in Kupwara on Sunday evening. A militant and two soldiers were killed in the gunfight. Three soldiers sustained grave injuries.

Sarwan Kumar and Vijay Paul of the 9 Rajput died, while the condition of Saeed Ahmad Wani of the 161 Territorial Army is said to be critical.

In another encounter in the Kellar area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the police and troops of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles killed a top militant.

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