Close to 200 kilometres of the Indo-Pakistan International Border (IB), from Kathua to the east bank of river Chenab in Akhnoor after which starts the Line of control (LoC), is probably the only internationally recognised border still disputed by Pakistan.
Not only is it used as an infiltration route by terrorists, Pakistan consistently fires along this border to ensure it stays disturbed.
In two major terrorist attacks on consecutive days in March this year, seven people, including security and police personnel, were killed while four terrorists were shot dead in Samba and Kathua. Last year, in two terrorist attacks, seven civilians died in Arnia and Hiranagar.
All these places are just a few kilometres from the IB.
The three major rivers — Ravi, Devak and Tawi — and about seven nullahs are the main problems that prevent plugging the security loopholes. While seven kilometres of the border is unfenced, the overflowing nullahs also damage the fence. In the past, terrorists have also sneaked in by digging tunnels, further compounding the problems.
Rakesh Sharma, inspector general, BSF (Jammu frontiers), said, “Infiltration can’t be ruled out. But it is heavily guarded and our boys are very alert.”
Until August 12 this year, three civilians and two BSF personnel were killed on the border. Shells fired by Pakistan also landed close to the national highway in Kathua, about 10km from the border. As per the home ministry, 196 incidents of firing have been reported till July this year along the IB.
Last year, there were 430 ceasefire violations that killed 14 people, including 12 civilians.