Army veteran criticize both BSF and Police over security management on IB and in hinterland

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Jammu, November 23: Expressing grave concern on the repeated failure of the BSF and JK Police to prevent infiltration through the International Border (IB) sector, Brigadier (retired) Anil Gupta, a Jammu based veteran security and strategic analyst, on Monday raised questions regarding security management by BSF along the international border as also the police in the hinterland.

In a press release issued here today, Brig Gupta has stated that this is 4th or 5th time when a tunnel has been detected after the infiltration has taken place. The occasion is used by the senior officials of BSF and JKP to make tall claims, criticise Pakistan, conduct photo ops and things return to square one after a few days till the next big infiltration becomes public and another tunnel is found again, stated Brig Gupta, who also happens to be the Jammu and Kashmir BJP’s spokesperson.

“Why is it that the tunnels are detected only after the infiltration has taken place? Why no action is taken to pinpoint responsibility, lapses and failures and pro-active measures taken to prevent similar lapses in future? Is it lack of resources, will, professionalism or sincerity,” questioned Brig Gupta. Government of India has spent crores of rupees to equip the BSF to stop infiltration including the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) to overcome the difficulties of terrain, he pointed out.

“Not very long ago BSF officers had displayed to the media a tractor modified for tunnel detection. There were also claims of importing tunnel detection equipment. What happened to all that and why that equipment is not being used? Why cry over the spilt milk and blame ISI and Pakistan every time? Where is the accountability on our own side? Is there something more than meets the eye,” questioned Brig Gupta?

BSF has been provided with seismic detectors, any underground disturbance is meant to be picked up by these detectors. Definitely, digging of 150 meter long tunnel should have been picked up by these detectors but wasn’t. What is the reason? For how long can the cover up actions be condoned in such grave lapses pertaining to national security? Where is our commitment to guard and defend our borders,” rued Brig Gupta. Incidentally these tunnels serve dual-purpose and the BSF knows that apart from inducting terrorists these are also used for smuggling narcotics. These are the Highways of narco-terrorism. Rather than making the detected tunnel public for self-glorification it should have been booby trapped and kept under surveillance advised Brig Gupta.

The fact that the terrorists trekked on foot for 9 km undetected and thereafter boarded a truck on the NH and travelled upto Nagrota unchallenged is a matter of concern and exposes the hollow claims of JKP on 24×7 surveillance and vigilance. What were the Highway patrols doing? Where were the check posts on the Highway? There is an urgent and inescapable need of full body scanners at selected places on the NH, recommended Brig Gupta.

The fact that the move after infiltration remained undetected raises serious questions on the anti-infiltration grid on the IB and it is for this reason that IB sector has become an active and preferred route of infiltration with very low success rate of preventing infiltration. Linear deployment of the BSF behind the fence has not proved adequate. An immediate review is called for recommended Brig Gupta. He also recommended that there is a valuable asset of ex-servicemen in these areas. Border Defence Volunteer Force to strengthen the depth area surveillance and patrolling should be raised utilising the services of ex-servicemen. They should be deployed on either side of the NH upto a depth of 5-10 km depending on the distance of IB from NH.

Brig Gupta also requested the Modi government to carry out a serious review of command and control of all border guarding forces on the LAC and IB. To have greater coordination and effective command and controlled these need to be placed under Ministry of Defence. The present system has been found wanting time and again, stated the veteran.