40 pc militants in Mahore, Budhal, Rajouri are foreigners: Virk
2 October 2005
The Daily Excelsior
By Gopal Sharma
Jammu: At least 40 percent militants operating in Gool and Mahore areas of Udhampur, Ramban- Banihal in Doda and Budhal- Thanamandi- Kalakote areas of Rajouri are foreigners and they continued to dominate the local 60 percent ultras working with them. Talking to the Excelsior, the Officiating Inspector General of Border Security Force Jammu Frontier, G S Virk said though at least 40 percent of the militants operating in Udhampur, Ramban, Rajouri and parts of Poonch, Jammu and Kathua are foreigners but they have upper hand on the locals and they area leading most of the terrorists groups. Referring to the deployment of BSF men for the counter-insurgency operations, the Jammu Frontier BSF chief said the BSF is primarily meant for guarding borders of the country and maintaining their sanctity but in view of increased pressure on police and the para-military forces and the Rashtriya Rifles due to terrorism, the BSF Battalions have been engaged in the militancy-hit areas of Jammu and Kashmir. It has done a commendable job in Kashmir and still performing with best of its ability in the depth areas of Jammu region including Budhal, Ramban, Gool, Mahore in Udhampur, Doda and Rajouri. Responding to a question, he said while seven battalions of BSF have been deployed along International Border in Jammu sector, six others have been engaged in the counter insurgency operations while five are assisting Army in guarding other sensitive locations and the Line of Control in Poonch and Rajouri districts. He said with the fencing of LoC and installation of sensors, the influx of foreign militants in Poonch- Rajouri and Gool-Mahore area of Udhampur has considerably reduced. A large number of militants have been eliminated or neutralised by the security forces in these pockets but areas like Surankot and Mendhar still continued to be sensitive in view of terrorist activities, he maintained. Asked about some spurt witnessed in the incidents of inadvertent crossing from Pakistani side in the past two years in Jammu sector, Mr Virk said, ' we are keeping an eye and also analysing this trend started from that side. While 29 Pak nationals crossed into the Indian side during 2004, 27 such incidents have been reported till Sept ending this year in this sector. Not even a single incident of inadvertent crossing from our side has been reported in last two years. This is a matter of concern for us. Either, they are being pushed into this side to check the level of vigil this side for facilitating intrusion of armed terrorists or for spying or helping smugglers. Most of the inadvertent crossers have been handed over to the Pak authorities after holding flag meetings or otherwise,' he added. In response to another question, Jammu frontier BSF chief said that surrender policy of the Government has also caused impact as several militants have offered to surrender. He said, 'Our field commanders are getting constant inputs from the villagers regarding willingness shown by certain local youth involved in militancy to surrender. They have been attracted towards the rehabilitation policy and the money being offered to them by the Government for leaving the gun and joining national mainstream. This is very good development and the results are in front of you all.' On being asked about the delay being caused in the withdrawal of Border Security Force men from Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur and other areas of Jammu region from Counter Insurgency duty, Mr Virk said, 'Yes, the process has already started in Kashmir valley where CRPF battalions have taken over and the BSF has been sent to the borders for performing its actual duty. For Jammu region too, a decision has been taken to withdraw our six battalions from CI Ops areas but it may take some time. As and when, a green signal comes from the headquarters, the process would start here also but there is no immediate move to remove our battalions from depth areas,' he maintained.