Security forces’ response to infiltration | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Security forces’ response to infiltration

Lessons learned from the Samba attack and other encounters have been put into good effect as witnessed in the latest Arnia incident. Early in the morning of November 27, a Territorial Army (TA) battalion’s post on the ditch-cum-bund (DCB) obstacle received a report about the presence of suspected terrorists a short distance away. Writes Mandeep Singh Bajwa

chandigarh Updated: Feb 08, 2015 01:06 IST
Mandeep Singh Bajwa

Lessons learned from the Samba attack and other encounters have been put into good effect as witnessed in the latest Arnia incident. Early in the morning of November 27, a Territorial Army (TA) battalion’s post on the ditch-cum-bund (DCB) obstacle received a report about the presence of suspected terrorists a short distance away.

They carried out a covert reconnaissance to confirm the sighting but soon, themselves, came under attack. First to respond were the quick reaction teams (QRTs) of the TA company located nearby and the adjoining infantry battalion.

Soon, the TA battalion’s CO reached the spot and took charge. Another infantry battalion’s QRT arrived in lightly armoured Casspir mine-protected vehicles that provided mobile fire support in close proximity to the terrorists’ position. Showing good anticipation, the 26 (Tiger) Division deployed a Special Forces (SF) team which killed one terrorist to add to the two eliminated by the troops deployed earlier. Around noon, the situation was handed over to the SF with the two infantry battalions and the TA unit providing the cordon to prevent the terrorists’ escape. The SF then managed to kill the remaining terrorist who had taken cover in a bunker on the DCB during the night.

That the terrorists were detected and killed just 2.5 kms from the border well before their intended target goes to show that the intention of the security forces is to check infiltration as far forward as possible. The consequent multi-layered deployment of troops with good interlocking communication and swift responses by units proved effective in locating, fixing and eliminating the threat posed by the infiltrators. The security of border areas is a joint responsibility shared by the Army, BSF, police, paramilitary areas and intelligence agencies supplemented by the eyes and ears of a motivated and vigilant population.

The spirit of the 9th Gorkhas

‘Yo keta 2/9 GR ko ho ki hoina’ (Does this young man belong to 2nd/9th Gorkha Rifles or not) called out a tearful yet strong 11-year-old Alka at the funeral of her father, Colonel MN Rai in the national capital on January 29.

She was answered by a rousing ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ (He is! He is! He is!) by the stalwarts from her father’s regiment. The regimental ritual had a moving effect on the mourners and all those who saw it on television. All regiments have special traditions akin to rites from which they draw sustenance and motivation.

The 9th Gorkha Rifles are a very special band of men drawn from the Chhetri and Thakuri clans of Nepal. Their battle honours (Hangman’s Hill, Chindits 1944, Phillora 1965 and Kumarkhali 1971 among them) are redolent with the fighting spirit for which they’re renowned.

The 9th Gorkhas invoke this particular chant on every occasion whether a victory, a match, a mess party or simply a gathering where regimental pride is to be evoked. It is deeply moving and brings to mind the indomitable character of the regiment.

That young Alka Rai should so boldly raise the regimental chant of the 9th Gorkhas at her father’s funeral shows vividly the strong bond that soldiers’ children form with their father’s regiments. There is an inherent sense of belonging and trust that the regiment will always do the right thing. This is the true strength of the regimental system.