Major Intrusion Bid Foiled; One Killed; Others At Large

21 July 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Even as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a high level review of security scenario on Jammu borders with top brass of his Ministry officials along with senior officers of the BSF in the Union capital, security forces foiled another infiltration attempt by the militants along the International Border in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district this evening killing an infiltrator. The BSF was maintaining high alert on the IB in Hiranagar sector following inputs that other militants might still be hiding across the fencing and could make an attempt to sneak into this side during the night. Official sources told the Excelsior that troops of BSF's 68 battalion observed movement of a group of infiltrators near Pillar No. 82 at Karol Matrayan forward village in Bobiya area of Hiranagar sector in Kathua district at 6.15 pm today. Alert jawans of the BSF opened firing on the infiltrators killing one of them on the spot. The other intruders dispersed on Pakistan side. 'It was not clear immediately as to whether the remaining infiltrators escaped back to Pakistan or were still hiding across the fencing. The BSF was on high alert to thwart any attempt by the militants to infiltrate during the night,' sources said. SDPO Border Diwakar Singh said police parties all along the border in Hiranagar sector have started patrolling in all forward areas to check any unwanted movement from the border. SSP Kathua Mohan Lal has also reached the spot. Sources said body of the infiltrator was lying on the fencing but it has not been recovered so far as Pakistani Rangers or the militants could open firing. This was second major infiltration attempt on the IB during last five days. On Thursday night, the BSF had thwarted intrusion bid by a group of five to six militants in Suchetgarh sector of RS Pura tehsil, forcing the militants to retreat. Meanwhile, the MHA has issued an advisory to the BSF to maintain high alert all along the IB as there were reports of massive militant infiltration from across the border ahead of this year's Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Sources said that after receiving report from the BSF authorities on heavy firing along the International Border, Rajnath Singh held a high level meeting with top brass of the MHA and BSF in which a strategy was devised to effectively counter the Pakistani plans to infiltrate militants into Jammu and Kashmir in view of forthcoming Assembly elections in the State. After the meeting, the BSF has been issued a set of advisory for the IB including strengthening of their positions all along the IB from Hiranagar to Akhnoor sector to counter the Pakistani firing with additional deployment and installation of infrastructure. 'The BSF has been asked to maintain strict surveillance on the IB especially during the firing as there were reports that the Rangers would open firing in one sector and try to infiltrate militants from another sector,' sources said, adding this had happened last week during border firing in Arnia sector when the Rangers tried to push a group of six militants from adjoining Suchetgarh sector. Sources said the Centre was anticipating massive infiltration attempts by the militants from the International Border as well as Line of Control (LoC) under the cover of firing by the Rangers and Pakistan Army especially in the next few days in view of upcoming Assembly elections in the State. 'There were reports with the Government of India, Central as well as State Intelligence agencies that the militants would try to infiltrate from the LoC and IB and Pakistan Army and Rangers could give cover to them,' sources said, adding that Army and BSF have been asked to maintain high alert on the borders to ensure that the militants didn't succeed in their designs. The Army as well as the BSF have confirmed presence of militants across LoC and IB, who were awaiting opportunity to sneak into this side. Most of the infiltration attempts by the militants have been observed during ceasefire violations by the Pakistan Army and Rangers, sources said. Meanwhile, calm prevailed in Arnia sector as no firing was reported in any forward area after yesterday's high level hotline contact between Inspector Commanders of BSF and Rangers last evening. 'Arnia sector was completely calm today. No firing incident was reported from any part of Arnia sector,' sources said, adding the high level hotline contact between BSF and Rangers has revived hopes of restoration of peace in Arnia. Sources said if peace prevailed in Arnia, there was a possibility of flag meeting between BSF and Rangers in the next few days to discuss the issue of firing. It may be mentioned here that a BSF jawan was killed and seven others were injured including three BSF personnel and four civilians in firing by the Rangers in Arnia sector on Wednesday while several houses were damaged and cattle perished in the firing in early hours of yesterday.