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No direct evidence Pathankot attack militants entered through border: BSF

india Updated: Nov 30, 2016 21:28 IST
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Indian Army soldiers take position on the perimeter of an air force base in Pathankot.(Sameer Sehgal/HT File Photo)

The Border Security Force said on Wednesday the exact area from where terrorists who attacked the Pathankot air force base infiltrated is still a matter of “conjecture” and there was no direct evidence of a breach in the security system along the Indo-Pakistan border.

Minister of state for home, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, had said on Tuesday in a written reply in the Lok Sabha: “Four Pakistan-based terrorists entered Punjab via Janial road, Dhusi turn, near Ravi river bridge, Gulpur Simli village- Akalgarh and attacked airforce station in Pathankot.”

BSF chief KK Sharma said there are many “variables” on the border, marked by riverine gaps and other unguarded patches, and Pathankot could be one of those.

“That is still a matter of conjecture. It is suspected they came from this area (as mentioned in the minister’s reply)... But there is no direct evidence of a breach (of the border fence),” he said.

The DG added that due to riverine areas and other gaps in the undulating terrain on the border, it is “not possible to erect a fence” everywhere.

Putting an end to speculation about the number of terrorists involved in the Pathankot attack, Ahir’s statement made it clear that only four militants had entered the airforce station to carry out the strike.

The response is contrary to home minister Rajnath Singh’s statement on March 4, which said that charred remains, apart from four bodies of terrorists, were found after security forces searched the Pathankot IAF station when the operation ended.

Talking about the Indo-Bangladesh border, the DG said non-lethal weapons given to BSF troops will “stay” as both the sides are determined to reduce the number of deaths on the frontier.

He said the incidents of smuggling of fake Indian currency notes along the border, especially in the notorious Malda area, has “drastically” gone down post demonetisation.

Asked if hostilities could increase in the wake of new Pakistan Army chief taking over, he said it was a “million dollar question” to him too.

Sharma added that the 2.5-lakh personnel strong force is running a special financial literacy programme for its troops so that they can save and invest for their future.