Asked about the results of the BSF exercise, senior army officials pointed to the general decline in infiltration along the border.(AFP file photo)
Asked about the results of the BSF exercise, senior army officials pointed to the general decline in infiltration along the border.(AFP file photo)

Reports of frequent infiltration incorrect, BSF may tell Centre

The report has been drawn up after a seven-day exercise (July 1-8) along the IB – the settled border with Pakistan running through Jammu and Punjab — involving 30,000 BSF troops. During the exercise, commanders of nearly 40 BSF battalions camped in the forward areas of Jammu and Punjab to supervise and verify “every step” of the operation.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Sudhi Ranjan Sen
UPDATED ON AUG 01, 2019 12:26 PM IST

The Border Security Force (BSF) is set to inform the Centre that “reports of frequent infiltration” through the 1,200-km stretch of the International Border (IB) are “incorrect”, according to senior officials who did not wish to be named.

The report has been drawn up after a seven-day exercise (July 1-8) along the IB – the settled border with Pakistan running through Jammu and Punjab — involving 30,000 BSF troops.

During the exercise, commanders of nearly 40 BSF battalions camped in the forward areas of Jammu and Punjab to supervise and verify “every step” of the operation.

The main objective was to check for “breaches, gaps in the counter-infiltration grid”, re-examine the operational and logistical arrangements and “detect underground and cross-border tunnels”, one of the senior officials cited above said.

In a review meeting chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah in Jammu and Kashmir in the last week of June, the army, in particular the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, had pointed to the IB as the most likely place for infiltration of Pakistan-based terrorists. During the July 1-8 exercise, the entire border was “physically screened” by BSF units with “special focus” on the “vulnerability” to infiltration and “tunnelling” underneath the IB and the fence. “No loophole was detected in the exercise in which the army, Jammu and Kashmir Police and intelligence agencies participated,” a second senior official aware of details said. He added that “the BSF, however, has adjusted the deployment in some sectors and asked for some surveillance equipment to strengthen some areas”.

The second official said almost all border out posts along the IB were equipped with night vision-capable surveillance equipment.

“Since the army, police and the intelligence agencies were part of the exercise...,” a third official, who is with the Union home ministry, said.

Asked about the results of the BSF exercise, senior army officials pointed to the general decline in infiltration along the border.

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