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Border Action Team’s signature seen in his mutilation

A day after a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan was killed along the Jammu border after he and his team came under unprovoked firing from Pakistan, a photograph emerged suggesting his throat had been slit.

A senior official told The Hindu that they did not rule out the role of the Border Action Team (BAT) of the Pakistan Army that had in the past beheaded jawans along the Line of Control.

Head constable Narender Singh, part of the BSF team, had gone ahead along the International Border in the Ramgarh sector to clear the elephant grass that provides cover to infiltrators. Around 10.40 a.m. on Tuesday, the team came under fire, leading to his death. The body was located by his team through “traces of his blood.”

This is the first time such an incident has taken place along the border in Jammu. The BSF said in a statement the body had bullet injuries on “torso, including neck.”

“The patrol retaliated to the firing and tactically moved to its side of the fence. It found one of its members missing. With reinforcement from company headquarters, the complete area was sanitised first and then the search started for the missing jawan. The area between the fence and the IB is undulating, marshy and has thick sarkanda growth which made the search difficult. With much effort, the body of missing jawan HC Narender Singh was found with multiple bullet injuries on his torso including neck,” the statement said.

A strong protest has been lodged with the Pakistan Rangers over the unprovoked firing and the loss of a BSF trooper, it said.

“The office of the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) took up the matter with Pakistan DGMO yesterday [Tuesday]. They refused to admit that there had been any incident of unprovoked firing. We have also asked the Foreign Ministry to take up the issue with Pakistan,” the official said.

Sent for post-mortem
The 740 km LoC is under the operational control of the Army and the 192 km IB in Jammu is manned by the BSF. The jawan’s body has been sent for post-mortem.

“We don’t know how he was killed, it is a matter of investigation…he had at least three bullet wounds. We are investigating the circumstances….it was an unprovoked firing in the morning hours. The initial presumption was that he was injured and had not been able to come back. Only when the other members got back, they found he was not there,” the official said.

The BSF statement said such patrols are routinely sent to clear the wild vegetation for clearing the field of view along the IB. This area is also of vital importance as the Pakistan side has a protective bundh (bunker) closer to the IB.

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