MHA approves 1000 additional troops exclusively for Jammu IB

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Jan 16: In the aftermath of Pathankot airbase attack, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved one more battalion for deployment along the International Border (IB) exclusively in Jammu sector to thwart possibility of any infiltration attempt by the militants from Pakistan even as the Border Security Force (BSF) has deployed its entire fleet of reserves on the borders.
Official sources told the Excelsior that all 2000 additional BSF personnel (equivalent to two battalions), which were approved by the MHA immediately after Pathankot attack, have been deployed along the Punjab border to plug the gaps, which had been exploited by the militants twice to infiltrate and carry out Pathankot air base attack on January 2 and Dinanagar police station attack on July 27, 2015.
However, the MHA has now approved one additional battalion of the BSF, which will be deployed exclusively along Jammu sector of the IB comprising three districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua. The battalion comprised about 1000 jawans, who would be deployed at sensitive points along the International Border to further enhance the security surveillance system in Jammu region, which was already on high alert.
Pointing out that one additional battalion of the BSF for Jammu sector, which runs from Lakhanpur to Akhnoor covering about 192 kilometers area, would prove very useful in checking infiltration attempts, sources said the BSF has already deployed all its reserved troops on the borders in the aftermath of Pathankot airbase attack.
IG BSF, Jammu Frontiers, Rakesh Sharma has directed all the Field Commanders to keep strict surveillance on the IB to foil the militant designs.
Sharma, who has regularly been undertaking visits to all border areas of Jammu sector to review the situation including winter management strategy, plugging gaps along the rivulets and other routes used previously by the infiltrators, has asked the BSF troops to remain on high alert in view of the reports of infiltration attempts.
Sources said the BSF has reports that small groups of three to four militants were camping across the International Border in Jammu sector waiting for the opportunity to infiltrate into the Indian territory.
“These groups (of militants) have spread themselves at various places on Pakistan side of the border trying to exploit the gaps for infiltration but the alert troops of BSF have not allowed them to succeed,” sources said, adding these groups of militants seem to be Pakistanis and were in possession of large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives.
The BSF authorities were confident that the deployment of additional troops, given by the Centre Government and the reserves taken out from various areas, would help the existing strength of troops to successfully curb the infiltration attempts like the ones witnessed from forward village of Bamiyal in Pathankot sector of Punjab in which the militants had targeted Dina Nagar police station on July 27 last year and Pathankot Air Force base on January 2 this year.
Sources noted that concentration of the BSF was mainly along the rivulets, which were couple of years back used by the militants in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district for infiltration.
It may be mentioned here that immediately after terror attack on Pathankot airbase, the Union Ministry of Homes Affairs, which controls the para-military forces, had approved 2000 troops for the International Border of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir sectors. However, later all these two additional battalions of the BSF were given to Punjab frontiers to plug the gaps and stop infiltration attempts.
In view of this, the Home Ministry approved 1000 additional BSF jawans for deployment along Jammu sector comprising three districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua.


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