BSF admits to infiltration along Kashmir border (Lead)

May 16th, 2008 - 7:19 pm ICT by admin  

Khora (Jammu and Kashmir), May 16 (IANS) Admitting that “three to four” militants could have infiltrated across the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir, the Border Security Force (BSF) said Friday it would increase its force levels along the 200-km-long frontier to forestall any other attempts. “We see the possibility of three to four infiltrators having sneaked in,” BSF director general A.K. Mitra told reporters after inspecting the spot where militants had May 9 attempted to infiltrate.

He said four infiltration bids had taken place along the IB and were “foiled” but in the last one “we think some of them did manage to infiltrate”.

BSF officials had earlier said a group of 15 militants had attempted to sneak in but this had been “completely foiled by forcing all of them back into Pakistani territory”.

Mitra said an additional 1,000 troopers would be deployed to protect the flat plain IB and equipped with sophisticated gadgets like night vision devices, imagers, and electronic surveillance devices, besides which the alarms on the fence would be improved.

There is a three-tier barbed wire fence along the IB and the 720 km Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir. The fence is fitted with lights that operate either through solar power or generator sets. The army soldiers who guard the LOC fence as it meanders through high mountains and rugged terrain have night vision devices and electronic surveillance systems.

Mitra said the run up to assembly elections in Kashmir would be very crucial from the infiltration point of view “so if need be, we will also put trainees on the job (of guarding the IB)”.

The BSF chief said he had discussed various measures with the officials on ground to check infiltration. “I have instructed everyone here in BSF to put themselves into the militants’ shoes and see how possibly they will try to infiltrate and then devise measures to prevent it”.

Mitra’s visit was prompted by the infiltration bid by militants from Pakistan across the IB in the Glarh sector last week.

“It was a very serious infiltration bid by about 15 militants which we have foiled completely. We do not rule out possibility of Pakistani Rangers giving covering fire to the infiltrators,” BSF additional deputy inspector general J.B. Sangwan had told reporters after the incident.

However, the security agencies, including the police and the army, had expressed fears that eight infiltrators had manage to sneak into the Indian side. Just a day later, militants attacked in the Kali Mandi area near Jammu, leading to a daylong gun battle in which eight people, including two militants, were killed and 12 others were injured. The security forces said the militants were those who had sneaked in a day earlier.

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