Infiltration from PoK continues despite change in weather: BSF
1 December 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Infiltration from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) continued despite snowfall and minus temperature on the higher reaches, a senior security force officer said. ''We cannot lower the guard on the border as intelligence inputs said that a large number of militants are waiting across the border to sneak into this side'', the officer told UNI. He said despite snowfall on the upper reaches, which are being used by militants as routes for infiltration and exfiltration, some movement was going on in the northern sector. The temperature has also gone down considerably and some times the minimum temperature come down to minus three to four degrees. Barring a brief period when the infiltration came down under international pressure, there was no let up in militant movement on the border, he said. A senior Border Security Force (BSF) officer said that since July this year there were about 50 encounters near the Line of Control (LoC) in northern sector during which 108 militants were killed. This is clear indication that Pakistan was still making desperate attempts to send trained and heavily armed militants, he said. He said the militants killed on the LoC were mostly foreigners—Pakistani nationals. He said security forces had also foiled a number of militant attempts to take Kashmiri boys to PoK for receiving arms training there. We have captured these boys and later restored them to their parents as they were being taken to PoK forcibly, the BSF officer said. However, he said, it was not possible to plug the border because of its topography and difficult terrain. But, he said, a plan has been worked out to stop the militants who somehow manage to sneak into this side within the five km border belt. There were about 55 Fidayeen attacks on different security force installations and camps since November 1999. He said in all these fidayeen attacks 61 security force personnel were killed. All the fidayeen too were killed, he said. However, he said, a number of such Fidayeen attacks were foiled by security personnel who gunned down the militants before they could sneak into the camps. About the overall sitaution in the Valley, the BSF officer said about 1900 militants, majority of them foreigners, were active across the Valley. He said people who were hesitating to come forward with the news about militants and their hideouts in the past, were now helping to get militants and their hideouts. He said the recent success— recovery of large quantity of RDX and other arms and ammunition besides busting a communication centre of Pakistan based Lashker-e-Toiba in the Valley— achieved by the security forces was only due to the cooperation of the local people. Meanwhile, Inspector General of BSF Harsh Vardan Rajeev said that the force was celebrating its 38th Raising Day today throughout the country. Listing the achivements of the force since it was raised on December 1965, he said it fought shoulder to shoulder with the Army during the Bangladesh war in 1971. However, he said, till 1989 the force was deployed to guard the borders. But with the onset of militancy bsf was given the responsibility to contain it. More units from outside were inducted. He said 2361 militants were killed and 9350 apprehended in the Kashmir valley during the past 12 years. He said 905 militants surrendered alongwith their arms and ammunition and joined the national mainstream in the Valley during the same period. He said the force recovered 8057 weapons of various types, 691843 rounds of assorted ammunition, 695 wireless sets, 6639 kgs of explosives and 908 improvised explosive devices across the Valley. Mr Rajeev said 141 militants killed and arrested 168 others since January this year. Four militants also laid down their arms, he added. A total of 262 weapons, including 158 ak series rilfes, 38 UBGLs, 62 pistols, 99 wireless sets and more than 200 kg explosives were recovered during the eleven months this year.