India to deploy marine commandos in Sir Creek

New Delhi: India will deploy an elite unit of BSF 'marine' commandos to keep a vigil on infiltration from the Sir Creek area in Kutch along the Indo-Pakistan frontier.

The Marine unit will specifically be deployed along the 'Harami Nala' area in Sir Creek which is a marshy, sluggish and shallow water channel, spread over 500 sq km in Kutch, a senior BSF officer said.

The area has in the past witnessed many violations by Pakistani fishermen.

The marshy topography of the area makes it difficult for troops to react swiftly against infiltration and incidents of smuggling through this area.

The Union Home Ministry recently approved a budgetary sanction of Rs 44 crore to raise a unit of the BSF.

The marine unit, first-ever in a paramilitary organisation, will be trained to undertake amphibious (both land and water) operations and will possess special swimming and diving skills to operate in this area.

They will also be equipped with weapons and logistics required to operate in such areas.

"The deployment of the marine unit will take place once the training of the personnel is complete. These personnel will undertake patrolling along the 'harami nala' stretch on power boats," the BSF officer said.

It is also proposed to impart specialised training to these personnel from the Indian Navy and a full battalion (about 1,000 personnel) will subsequently be raised within the force, the officer said.

Pakistani fishermen cross into the Indian side along the 'Harami Nala' during high tide in order to catch fish and at times they are found not indulging in any illegal activity. But keeping vigil along this area is a challenging job, the officer said.