Keeping Up

DG BSF says the force is increasingly developing new technologies to counter infiltration threats

Yunus Dar

Cross-border shelling from the Pakistan side has become a regular affair in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Border Security Force (BSF) is giving a befitting reply to such provocations, the Director General of BSF, Rajni Kant Mishra, said in a presser on 30 November 2018.

Director General of BSF, Rajni Kant Mishra

Addressing journalists on the occasion of the celebration of the BSF’s 53 years of service to the nation, Mishra said infiltration, sniping and cross-border firing had intensified on the Jammu international border and all such attempts have been effectively and suitably retaliated by the BSF. He said the force had launched Operation Bhim-I in January 2018 and Bhim-II in June 2018, establishing tactical headquarters of all the battalions at the border, under which the force responded in a targeted and deliberate manner, effectively pinning down the adversary. The Pakistan posts were surgically targeted resulting in their heavy losses, he added.

To a question on the killing of the BSF head constable Narendra Singh by the Pakistan Border Action Team (BAT) on the border in September this year, the BSF DG said the force had retaliated aggressively to the ‘unfortunate’ incident and inflicted heavy damage on the adversary. He said the BSF undertook a scientific analysis of such incidents that happened in the past five years along the border and a comprehensive retaliation plan was drawn.

To counter the deadly sharpshooters from across the border, the BSF is indigenously developing bullet-proof bunkers with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other agencies to protect its own troops against such attacks from the Pakistani Rangers, Mishra said. The new bunkers are amour plated with a periscope mounted on the top for broader vision, according to the sources.

The BSF DG said physical barriers were being erected along the border to make them impregnable to any kind of illegal infiltration. He said Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS), which is a combination of surveillance devices, data backbone, and communication network and command control centre, had been implemented in Jammu and Kashmir and were being planned for other border states. The home minister Rajnath Singh had inaugurated two such CIBMS projects on 17 September 2018 in Jammu and Kashmir.

The smart border system along with digitisation of communication networks along the border are also few of the steps the force is taking towards modernisation.

On eastern border last year, the BSF seized more than 30,000 kilograms of narcotics and fake Indian currency notes worth face value of approximately Rs 33 lakhs. In Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas of Chhattisgarh and Odisha, concerted efforts of the BSF troops had motivated 40 Naxals to surrender, around 76 were apprehended and one neutralised in in 2018. During the same period, seven BSF troopers attained martyrdom while confronting the Naxals in Chhattisgarh, said Mishra.

“With an aim to provide specific anti-Naxal operation studying and refresher courses to units, the BSF recently established a Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terrorism School near Bengaluru. The school trains all the battalions going to Naxal areas, giving them pre-induction training. He said the force was taking a number of systematic steps to familiarise officers with geographical, sociological and economical aspects of these areas so that they are in a better position to act in those areas.

When asked whether the BSF had carried out a demographic survey revealing increasing Muslim populations in border areas in Jaisalmer, the BSF DG acknowledged that such survey is done, but said it was a routine. He later clarified it wasn’t a religion-based study and any kind of sociological and demographic reporting was a mandate of the BSF.

The BSF is celebrating December 1 as its Raising Day, and minister of state for home affairs, Kiran Rijiju will be the chief guest on the occasion, Mishra announced.


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