The Border Security Force has increased surveillance in the Bamiyal sector along the Pakistan border in Punjab, believed to be a transit point for smugglers, drug traffickers and terrorists because of stretches of “gaping holes” in the heavily-guarded boundary.
Pakistan-based terrorists reportedly sneaked through this porous border to lay siege on the Pathankot air base recently, as did their comrades to attack Dinanagar police station some months ago.
The BSF came under severe criticism for the “gaps” in the border fence.
The complex geography and topography of the area — compounded by a fast-running Ravi river and swampland of tall grasses on its banks — make it difficult to build a continuous fence of barbed wires along the border.
About 750 metres of land were without a fence at many points because of the river terrain.
The BSF spokesperson said senior officers were camping at the frontier village of Bamiyal since the Pathankot terror attack and overseeing work to strengthen outposts and the surveillance system.
BSF special director-general MK Singla was reportedly visiting areas where the border has remained porous. He was said to be leading a team of BSF officers to fortify vulnerable points with modern equipment.
To plug the gaps, the paramilitary force has installed high-beam lights and other equipment to detect movements.
The spokesperson said the BSF has added at least six more companies and a process was initiated to deploy 800 more personnel to guard the area. “We have placed more barbed wires, modern surveillance equipment and more boats to tackle the fast current of the Ravi,” he said.
Additional check points, border posts and men on duty would help stop “infiltration” from Pakistan through Bamiyal, barely 30km from Pathankot, the BSF officer said.