No let up in intruders' number at IB, LoC14 February 2010
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: Even as foggy weather conditions have disappeared and India and Pakistan were scheduled to resume their talks at Foreign Secretary level in New Delhi on February 25, there has been no let up in the crowd of militants stationed at launching pads opposite Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu sector. Official sources told the Excelsior that there was no decline in number of the militants camping in launching pads close to LoC and IB on Pakistan side even after foggy nights have ended following improvement in weather conditions. The scheduled talks between Indo-Pak Foreign Secretaries later this month, which were resuming after 26-11 Mumbai terror attacks, have also not lead to lowering of the numbers in launching pads. 'It (the number) remained unchanged. Security agencies were monitoring movement of the militants in launching pads of Pakistan opposite LoC and IB. The militants continued to hide in bunkers, posts and other available space close to the pickets of Pakistan Army and Rangers across the border', they said. This, according to sources, showed that there had been no change in situation on the borders with militants, aided and abeted by Pakistan security forces and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), staying at the launching pads awaiting an opportunity to sneak in. Even yesterday’s cease-fire violation by Pakistan Army at LoC in Krishna Ghati and Mendhar sectors in Poonch district in which a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of the Army got injured was aimed at facilitating infiltration by the militants under the cover of firing, sources said, adding that a group of six to eight militants did make an attempt to intrude into this side but failed. Though exact number of militants camping at launching pads remained a guess, sources said it has not declined in last few days as was expected after weather cleared up and India also announced Foreign Secretary level talks with Pakistan. In January especially during first 20 days of the month, a series of intrusion bids were made by the militants especially on IB to sneak into this side taking cover of dense fog. On few occasions, the militants had even managed to breach fencing but their attempts to intrude further were thwarted by the BSF. Sources said the militants mostly belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen outfits were hiding themselves in bunkers, posts and other concrete accommodation close to IB and LoC and could try to infiltrate anytime. 'The fact that the militants had not been pushed back from launching pads on IB and LoC was an indication that they could try to intrude anytime they get an opportunity. Late in the evening, the militants, at some places, are seen moving close to pickets of Pakistan Army and Rangers', sources said. Movement of the militants is also witnessed on sophisticated surveillance gadgetry installed on LoC and IB. Intelligence agencies were anticipating that number of the militants, looking for infiltration into this side, would go down considerably once foggy weather conditions end. However, this has not happened. Security forces remained on a high alert, like the month of January, to ensure that the intrusion bids, whenever made, didn’t succeed.