Tension On Border As Rangers Try To Stop Flood-lights Work20 February 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Tension erupted on Indo-Pak border at Abdullian in RS Pura sector this afternoon after Pakistani Rangers tried to stop installation of flood lights at re-aligned fencing on the International Border (IB) by the Border Security Force (BSF). Firing of some shots from Pakistan side was also heard but the BSF and police denied it. A flag meeting was held between the two sides this evening in which the BSF made it clear that it was determined to go ahead with lighting of the entire fencing on the IB to keep a strict vigil on the infiltrators. The work was temporarily halted by the BSF but was expected to resume tomorrow morning with full security back up. Official sources said the BSF was installing flood lights between Pillar Nos. 863 and 864 at Abdullian Post in RS Pura sector to keep the forward area lit up during night for a vigil on the infiltrators from Pakistan side. At about 2 pm today, Pakistani Rangers asked the workers, engaged in installation of flood lights to stop work. Though some reliable sources claimed that few shots were also fired by the Rangers to stop work, BSF and police authorities denied any firing. Sources said the workers and JCB staff stopped the work as they were engaged in installation of the lights right on the IB facing Suragpur post of the Rangers, where the latter had recently constructed a bunker to enhance their vigil on the Indian side. Local BSF officers immediately rushed to forward posts of Abdullian as tension prevailed between the two sides following stoppage of work by the Rangers. At about 3.30 pm, a flag meeting was held between BSF and Rangers at Bhanot Tekri Post on the IB. The BSF side was represented by Inspector Malqani and the Rangers by Inspector Khaliq. Sources said the Rangers objected to work on installation of flood-lights at the re-aligned fencing by the BSF on the ground that the lights would hamper their visibility from the forward Observatory Posts. However, this objection of the Rangers was strongly and firmly over-ruled by the BSF, which said they were within their rights and the boundary and could install flood-lights to keep a vigil on the infiltrators during the night. The Pakistani Rangers had no answer to the BSF query and left the meeting. Sources said the senior BSF officers were also visiting Abdullian Post in RS Pura sector tomorrow to take stock of the work on installation of flood-lights. Reports said the BSF was determined to install the flood-lights and resume work on them at 9 am tomorrow. It may be mentioned here that the BSF had re-aligned fencing and taken it very close to the IB to keep a complete check on infiltration of militants from the Pakistan side. The re-aligned fencing is now being lit up with installation of flood-lights. Sources said the Pakistan side appeared to be more worried about the infiltration of the militants rather than their Observatory Posts, a plea taken by the Rangers at the flag meeting. The flood-lights would in no way hamper the visibility on Pakistan side, they added. However, the Rangers were reportedly worried that lights on the IB would substantially enhance visibility on the Indian side and make it extremely difficult for Pakistan to facilitate infiltration by the militants. It was in this context that Pakistan wanted to stop work on installation of the lights. The Pakistan side also claimed that they were not informed by the BSF about the work on the IB. Sources said this was not required at all as the BSF was carrying out work within its boundaries. As reported, Pakistan had recently raised a bunker at its Suragpur post opposite Abdullian to which the Indian side has already taken strong exception and stepped-up vigil on this side of the border. It may be mentioned here that the Rangers were under intense pressure of Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to push the militants into Indian side. During foggy nights in the winter, a number of militants had been pushed close to launching pads near the posts of Rangers by Pakistan Army and the militant commanders to force their entry into the Indian territory but due to strict surveillance maintained by the BSF, the militants were unable to sneak-in. Sources said the re-alignment of fencing coupled with installation of flood-lights would make the task of the Rangers to push militants into this side more difficult.