May 2018 News

5 Pak Militants Infiltrate, Others Pushed Back: BSF DG

15 May 2018
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Tension escalated along the International Border with Pakistani militants, backed by the Rangers, making two infiltration attempts during previous two nights between Samba and Hiranagar sectors, one of which was successful with five militants managing to sneak into this side, reportedly using a tunnel while a big group was pushed back after fierce gun battle in wee hours of this morning in which a BSF constable attained martyrdom. Director General of BSF, KK Sharma, who flew-in here this morning to monitor the situation following fresh skirmishes along the International Border in Samba and Hiranagar sectors, declared that the BSF was ready to meet with any eventuality on the borders and will give befitting reply to Pakistan for its misadventures. Speaking to reporters at BSF Paloura Headquarters after paying tributes to martyr constable Devendra Singh, 28, Sharma accompanied by IG BSF, Jammu Frontiers, Ram Awatar, said two major infiltration attempts were made on Sunday and Monday nights in Hiranagar and Samba sectors. 'The infiltration attempt made on Sunday night in Hiranagar sector has been successful with five militants sneaking-in, reportedly using a tunnel,' Sharma said, adding massive search and cordon operations have been launched by all security agencies to neutralize the militants. Simultaneously, the anti-tunneling exercise was also on to detect the tunnel used by the militants for infiltration. However, the tunnel has not been traced so far. Expressing confidence that the militants, who have managed to infiltrate will be tracked down and neutralized soon, sources said all security agencies have launched coordinated operation to trap the militants as the infiltration was significant since the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Jammu and Kashmir was just four days away. In the wee hours of today morning, the BSF observed another infiltration attempt by well-equipped group of Pakistani militants in forward area of Mangu Chak in Samba sector and challenged them. The militants retreated initially but again tried to intrude into the Indian side, this time with the help of covering fire by the Pakistani Rangers, who violated ceasefire to target the BSF jawans and force intrusions. In the exchange of firing, a BSF jawan Devendra Singh Baghel, 28, was hit by a bullet on his right eye inside a bunker. He was evacuated from the site of firing and shifted to hospital, where he attained martyrdom. Baghel hailed from Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The effective retaliatory firing by the BSF thwarted the infiltration attempt by the militants in Samba sector. Unable to infiltrate, the militants retreated to Pakistan. The firing from across the border came barely four days ahead of the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the State, and also ended months of lull in the border skirmishes along the IB which saw heavy Pakistan firing and shelling earlier this year. Sharma said the presence of a group, comprising five members, was confirmed by HSTI imagining and 'I am sure that they will be detected and neutralized'. They had reportedly used a tunnel to infiltrate as the fencing was intact. Meanwhile, Army also pressed helicopters into service during the search operation which entered the second day today in search of the infiltrators in Hiranagar and surrounding sectors as there were reports that they could target vital security installations in two separate groups of three and two. All security installations have already been put on very high alert following successful infiltration attempt. There has been a lull in firing along the IB over the past three months after intense border skirmishes in January and February, which led to many casualties and forced civilians to flee their homes. However, the frequent ceasefire violation by Pakistan was going on along the LoC in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri. The DG BSF said the sacrifice of the jawan would not go waste and assured 'appropriate action' against Pakistan which is trying to push terrorists who are camping in 'large number' at the launching pads across the border. 'Pakistan is our hostile neighbor and tries to push terrorists by violating ceasefire regularly. BSF don't initiate (ceasefire violation) from this side but whenever Pakistan initiates, we give them a befitting response,' Sharma said. On Smart fencing, he said the pilot project is nearing completion and 'I am hopeful that it will be in place either by this month end or in the first or second week of next month and it will be inaugurated by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. 'We have planned to roll out the project to make Pakistan border safer and secure and completely covered by the technology,' he said. The BSF chief said technology has a big advantage as humans weakness does not allow a person to see beyond 100 meters or listen beyond 50 meters but technology works as a force multiplier and the future of border guarding lies in the use of technology than increasing manpower. 'After the induction of smart fencing, we can pick up enemy movement three kilometers away. We will induct technology in a big way,' he said. Sharma said after the completion of cultivation, snipping and cross border firing is a usual thing and the latest incidents are part of this phenomenon. 'The BSF always give a befitting reply to Pakistan. This time it is not going to be any exception,' he said. 'Given the Infiltration attempts by Pakistan and the firing, we have to remain more cautious and alert,' he said adding that all the sister agencies and JK Police are fully alive to the situation. Asked about the upcoming challenges and the preparation during the summer months, Sharma said BSF is fully alert like the past to deal with any situation. 'Like before, we will give befitting reply and we have been on the top and this time also we will be on the top,' he said. Asked about the Intelligence reports suggesting presence of terrorists at launching pads across the border, he said there is no second thought that a lot of terrorists are present at the launching pads and Pakistan is attempting to push them into this side. Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta and senior officers of BSF and police also paid tributes to the martyr BSF jawan during the wreath laying ceremony. Meanwhile, body of martyr Devendra Singh has been sent to his native village in Agra, Uttar Pradesh with full honours and will be cremated tomorrow.