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As infiltration bids surge, Army reviews situation; briefs Guv

Security Grid strengthened, militant killed

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Feb 7: Even as the BSF today foiled third infiltration attempt along the International Border (IB) during past four days in Bamyal sector, killing one militant, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 9 Corps Lt Gen SK Saini reviewed situation in the wake of surge in intrusion bids and briefed Governor NN Vohra on the situation prevailing along the borders.
The 9 Corps, headquartered at Yol Cantonment in Himachal Pradesh, controls three border districts of Jammu region including Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts, apart from Pathankot district in Punjab, all of which share international boundary with Pakistan, which had once again been activated from across the border with regular infiltration attempts in Samba sector of Jammu and Bamyal, falling on the border of Jammu and Pathankot with territorial jurisdiction of Punjab BSF. The BSF guards 198-kilometers long International Border in Jammu, spread from Lakhanpur to Akhnoor.
Official sources told the Excelsior that GOC 9 Corps Lt Gen SK Saini had detailed inter-action with GOC Tiger Division Maj Gen SK Sharma before meeting Governor NN Vohra and briefing him about the security situation in the area of responsibility of his Command i.e. three borders districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua in Jammu region and Pathankot, which falls in neighbourhood of Kathua district, in Punjab.
An official handout issued by the Raj Bhawan said the Governor discussed with Lt Gen Saini various issues related to the continuing attempts at infiltration from across the International Border along Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts and the need for strengthening the Counter-Insurgency Grid.
Sources said though the BSF is deployed as front-line force all along the International Border in Jammu and Punjab and was manning the border very effectively having thwarted all four infiltration attempts this year so far, the Army keeps on monitoring and reviewing the situation and share inputs with the BSF to strengthen Security and Anti-Infiltration Grids.
According to sources, both Security and Anti-Infiltration Grids have been strengthened along the borders in view of fresh infiltration attempts and specific inputs that over a dozen militants were camping along the International Border on Pakistan side, shuttling between Jammu to Pathankot waiting for an opportunity to sneak into this side and carry out terror attacks on security installations and civilian areas.
Earlier in the day, BSF today shot dead a Pakistani intruder along the Indo-Pak International Border in Bamiyal sector, the same area from where terrorists had infiltrated last year to attack an Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot in which seven Army personnel including a Lieutenant Colonel and four to six militants were killed.
Sources said the Border Security Force observation post detected suspicious movement of an intruder at around 8:15 am at about 50 meters from the IB fence in Bamyal sector, which is located between Kathua sector and Pathankot, but has territorial jurisdiction of Punjab BSF Frontiers.
They said the troops challenged the intruder but seeing no response they fired, killing him on the spot.
They said the body of the 21-year-old boy, retrieved by the BSF after sometime, had no belongings, arms or ID card on it and the deceased wore a pathani suit.
“We have handed over the body to local police,” BSF sources said.
Officials added the BSF also held a flag meeting with their counterparts–the Pakistani Rangers but they refused to accept the body saying the man did not belong to their country.
The incident took place at the Simbal border post of the BSF in Bamiyal area of Pathankot.
In January last year, terrorists from across the border had infiltrated in the sector and went on to launch an audacious attack on the strategic Indian Air Force (IAF) base on January 2. The gunbattle had lasted four days.
Additional SP Pathankot (Rural) Deepak Pareek told the Excelsior that the weather was foggy around 8.15 am when the infiltration attempt took place. Though the infiltration attempt was foiled, Pareekh said Pathankot police was maintaining high alert.
Prior to January 2 attack on IAF Pathankot, militants had also used Bamyal route on couple of previous occasions for infiltration into this side to carry out terror attacks.
On February 4 and 6, the BSF had thwarted two major infiltration attempts by the militants in Samba sector along the International Border. During both the attempts, the militants had lobbed grenades on the advance BSF party to forces their infiltration into this side but their attempts have been foiled by the alert security personnel. The BSF teams had very narrow escape in the grenade attacks.
On January 13, the BSF had foiled a similar infiltration attempt between Samba and Hiranagar sectors.
Sources said the militants sitting on Pakistan side were desperate for infiltration into this side.

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