BSF Plans Meetings With Villagers J-K Police's Lines

17 February 2009
The Indian Express

Jammu: Taking a cue from Jammu and Kashmir Police's police-public meetings to increase coordination with public in the militancy-infested Jammu and Kashmir state, the Border Security Force has also decided to take up public meetings with border villagers to check infiltration from across the border. Informing this, official sources stated that the public meetings with the border villagers in Jammu region will be undertaken from the current month itself. The Border Security Force is deployed along the 190 km- long Indo-Pakistan International Border in Jammu region and protects the Indian Territory along the IB. Sources said that the idea of the public meetings with the border villagers was taken by the BSF from the police-public meetings, being conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Police. The Jammu and Kashmir Police got enough public support in tracking down terrorists and their over ground workers by holding interactions with the public in different parts of the state, sources said adding that the people were motivated to share information with the police on the terrorists and the over ground workers for arresting them or eliminating them in operations for the public safety. Besides, the people also helped the police in tracking down and arresting criminals and checking routine crimes, sources stated. Likewise, through BSF-public meetings, the BSF also plans to track down, both anti-national elements as well as anti-social elements, sources informed, adding that through such exercises, the BSF wants to keep eye on terrorists, infiltrators, exfiltrators, cross-border smugglers besides other criminals in the villages, sources elaborated. These meetings with the border villagers will be held under the BSF’s civic programmes to interact with the border villagers, sources informed. The people, living in the border areas in different parts of Jammu region which include districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua, will be motivated to share information and inform the BSF or the police, whichever is nearest to them in their respective areas, sources said. Inspector General of Police, BSF, Jammu A K Surrolia said that “at such meets, emphasis will be given to share information on the anti-national elements from the border farmers who cross fencing for carrying out work in their fields daily and return this side in the evenings, as these farmers can have eye on suspicious movement across the fencing, or somebody unknown moving near their fields. These meetings will be held by senior officials of various battalions of the BSF in Jammu region, sources informed adding that these meetings will also take note of their civic issues, further to take up these with civil administration, sources informed. The regular public meetings with border villagers will further increase the coordination level with the villagers, which help in having check on the infiltration and exfiltration besides boosting morale of the public by taking up their civic grievances, sources informed. The public will also be encouraged to share information on the cross-border smugglers of their areas, and curbing the narcotics smuggling, sources stated. One such meeting was held on Tuesday at Dadriyal border village, which has the first border out post of the BSF, where IG, BSF, Jammu A K Surrolia addressed the villagers. On the occasion, he also donated seven computers and sports material worth Rs 7 lakhs to about half a dozen schools in the area. Several infiltration bids were made by terrorists from across the border last year, where a couple of the bids were also successful, leading to encounters in Samba and Chinore.