NEW DELHI: Outgoing Border Security Force (BSF) Director General KK Sharma on Friday confirmed that Head Constable Narendra Singh was murdered and mutilated by the Pakistani Border Action Team recently.
Addressing a press conference, the outgoing BSF DG said, ''Based on our investigation, we can say that head constable Narendra Singh was brutally murdered and mutilated by the Pakistani Border Action team.''
''Singh was killed by a Pakistani bullet, then his body was dragged to that side of the border and an attempt was made to slit his throat. Singh's killing was a very unfortunate incident. But, it was very important for us to retrieve his body first before doing anything. So far, the BAT action was limited to the LoC. But, it's the first time that such an incident has taken place on the International Border too,'' Sharma added.
Sharma, however, said that the BSF is prepared to give a befitting reply to Pakistan if such a thing happens in future.
''In the past, we have given a befitting reply to Pakistan, we will do it again..Now, we are preparing our jawans for BAT action on the International Border too,'' he said.
The remarks from the outgoing BSF DG came days after the brutal murder of the BSF head constable allegedly by the Pakistani border forces triggered a massive outcry leading to the cancellation of scheduled Foreign Ministers-level talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.
KK Sharma also warned that there has been a surge in incidents like the attack on security forces, civilians, cross-border infiltration after the Imran Khan-led government came to power in Pakistan.
The BSF DG also warned that many terror launch pads were still active along the International Border and the Line of Control.
''There are a number of launching pads (terror) along the International Border. In some cases, some terror camps are 5-7 km close to the International Border and some are further deep,'' the outgoing BSF DG said.
There's no doubt that along the borders (International Border & Line of Control) there are a number of launching pads (terror). Sometimes camps are 5-7 km close to the international border and some are further deep: KK Sharma, outgoing BSF DG pic.twitter.com/2v03n9zNMr
— ANI (@ANI) September 28, 2018
Replying to a question on border fencing, Sharma said, ''The CIBMS (Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System) is a foolproof technology, there's no doubt about it. It's only 11 km now but borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh are more than 6500 km. In the future, our borders will be more secure.''
When asked about the Rohingya problem, Sharma said, ''It is a serious and constant problem. This will remain a challenge for the BSF.''
''We have successfully contained the influx of Rohingyas. However, smaller groups often try to enter but we haven't allowed them to enter, '' Sharma added.
Though not willing to court a fresh controversy, Sharma alleged that the "West Bengal government has a soft approach for Rohingyas.''
The remarks from the outgoing BSF DG came days after Narendra Kumar, a head constable with the BSF, was hacked to death, his throat was slit, eyes gouged out and body mutilated by the Pakistani troops along the international border (IB) near Jammu on Tuesday last week.
After the ''brutal'' and "unprecedented" incident, which took place in the Ramgarh sector, the security forces issued a "high alert" across the entire IB and the Line of Control (LoC).
The Border Security Force lodged a strong complaint with its counterparts - the Pakistan Rangers.
According to BSF sources, the body of Head Constable Narender Kumar also bore three bullet wounds and it could only be retrieved from a spot ahead of the Indo-Pak fence after over six hours as the Pakistani side "did not respond" to the calls to maintain the sanctity of the frontier and ensure that the BSF search parties were not fired upon.
The Pakistan Rangers, the sources said, was asked to take part in a joint patrolling to trace the missing jawan, but they only came up to a point and cited water-logging issues in the area that prevented them from undertaking a coordinated action.
The BSF then waited for the sun to set and launched a "risky operation" to bring the jawan's body back to the post.
Officials in the security establishment said the incident of brutality with the jawan, probably a first at the IB, was taken "very seriously" by the Government and the Ministry of External Affairs.
The Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) also lodged a complaint with its Pakistani counterparts.
They said since the BSF patrol party that went ahead of the fence to cut the tall "elephant" grass to clear the field was first fired upon at 10.40 AM on Tuesday, hectic phone calls and communication exchanges went on throughout the day from the Indian side to across the border in order to locate the body of the jawan, who was first declared missing.
However, this was not the first time that the Pakistani forces had given an ''inhuman and barbaric treatment'' to the Indian soldiers.
Last year, the Pakistani forces had killed two Indian soldiers and mutilated their bodies after a targeted attack on frontier posts in Jammu and Kashmir - an act which was described as ''despicable'' by the Indian Army.
The slain soldiers were identified as Naib Subedar Paramjit Singh, a junior commissioned officer (JCO) with the Army’s 22 Sikh Regiment, and Head Constable Prem Sagar of the BSF’s 200 Battalion.
The 42-year-old Singh was from a village in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district, while Sagar was a native of Deoria in Uttar Pradesh.