BSF strengthens security measures along International Border as winter sets in

The BSF has installed anti-fog devices and deployed more troops along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, putting in place its "winter strategy" to foil infiltration bids and terror attacks.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 26, 2015, 22:12 PM IST

Jammu: The BSF has installed anti-fog devices and deployed more troops along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, putting in place its "winter strategy" to foil infiltration bids and terror attacks.

"The winter strategy has been put in place along the IB. In the middle of November onwards till the weather improves, we take several security measures to ensure that we become absolutely impregnable on the border," IG BSF Rakesh Sharma told reporters here today.

The IG said the passes in the higher regions get closed due to snow and become almost impossible to cross and, therefore, the focus shifts on the International Border (IB).

Asked about smart fencing along the border to prevent infiltration, Sharma said it was still under trial.

"Once the trial is successful, it would be put to use on the ground and the results will be seen. It is still in trial stage," he said.

Besides increasing manpower and intensifying operations on the borders like patrolling, the IG said technology also played an important role and a technical surveillance grid had been set up along the border. "So that we take the help of technology if the human fails."

Elaborating further on the steps being taken by the BSF to secure the borders, Sharma said, "We monitor the grid everyday. All the commanders do it on the ground.

"Maximum efforts are made to enhance the visibility because fog also plays a spoil during the winters. We had taken the winter posture after Diwali" he added.

On reports regarding intelligence inputs that there was a group of 8-10 militants waiting to infiltrate from across the border, the IG said that a close watch was being kept.

"We have received reports that a small group of militants have been placed at different spots along the border line to infiltrate," he said

Replying to another question on whether BSF was deploying more troops on the border and raising more pickets in view of the foggy conditions along the borderline to prevent infiltration, he said that pickets were already there.

"Addition and subtraction of troops is being done as per the weather reports and visibility," he added.

He said the militants as of now were using traditional infiltration routes but they could use some other areas for infiltration. "But we do not lower our guards at all. Traditional routes have added advantage of navigation." Replying to a question about BSF's security preparedness post Tangdhar terror attack, he said, "We are closely watching what type of symptoms are developing and what type of suspicious movement is taking place close to the IB. Everything is being monitored very carefully."

"Not only this. We have been communicating with Pakistan through protest notes that such and such thing is happening in their area of operation. We are asking them to take stock of the situation as they stand committed to the minutes signed by their DG to not allow infiltration to happen," he said.

"IB under Jammu frontier has history of remaining volatile and sensitive since independence as Pakistan considers the entire Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory and ridiculously terms the IB as working boundary," he said.

"Militants in connivance with Pakistan Rangers and Pakistan intelligence agencies have been repeatedly resorting to militant infiltration, frequent stand-off attacks, sniper fire, IED blasts, border firing to keep the 'K' issue alive.

"These attempts have been successfully foiled by round-the-clock vigil and effective border domination by BSF inspite of heavy losses and effectively ensured peace and tranquillity and sense of security to border population in Jammu region," he said.

The IG said the continuous failure has brought about a perceived change in their modus operandi and of late the Pakistani troops have resorted to snipping and unprovoked firing to deter troops from performing the routine duties.

"This has more or less been of nuisance value and BSF units deployed on IB have ensured befitting reply to any misadventure," he added.

In view of effective response by BSF, the IG said Pakistan has resorted to a new strategy of targetting Indian villages through mortar shelling which has escalated into full scale border skirmishes.

"Year 2015 has remained to be very challenging year for the frontier BSF Jammu on operational front due to continuous heavy cross border firing/shelling and desperate infiltration attempts by Pakistan-based militants groups", he said.

"Concentration of militants of various groups like LeT, JeM, HM etc are regularly being reported at various launching bases across the IB and also observed near to IB on Pak side", Sharma said, adding that Frontier BSF Jammu has established effective anti-infiltration grid along the IB to foil such nefarious attempts. Meanwhile, IG BSF Rakesh Sharma said that the BSF as well as Jammu frontier have bagged all the five force-level trophies.

"The year 2015 will be remembered as a historical milestone in the history of BSF as well as Jammu frontier as all the five force level trophies have been bagged by frontier Jammu and its units which is a rare feat," the IG said.

The trophies will be presented on December 1 this year at Delhi during Golden Jubilee Raising Day parade by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to IG Sharma, SPS Sandhu, Commandant 192 Bn BSF and Sanjay Kumar, 89 Bn BSF.

"The is historical achievement of Jammu frontier in golden jubilee year of BSF. Frontier BSF Jammu in spite of heavy operational commitment through out the year on IB with Pakistan has excelled in various fields in entire force in pursuance of excellence," Sharma said.

These trophies included Maharana Pratap Trophy, Ashwani Kumar Trophy, Rajbhasa Shield, General Choudhary Trophy and DG's banner, he said.