BSF completes security audit; to submit report to MHA

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Feb 17: Security audit of about 200 kilometers long International Border (IB) in Jammu, ordered by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has been completed and security gaps plugged accordingly to prevent any kind of infiltration by the militants like the one witnessed in January 2 airbase attack at Pathankot and prior to that in Dinanagar.
The security audit has revealed that 40 to 50 militants were camping across the IB in Jammu sector right from Kathua to Akhnoor with major concentration opposite Samba and Kathua sectors and movement of small groups opposite RS Pura and Akhnoor sectors of Jammu.
Inspector General of BSF, Jammu Frontiers, Rakesh Sharma told the Excelsior that the BSF has completed security audit of entire 200 kilometers long International Border in Jammu sector with top officers of the security forces conducting visits in each other’s territory to assess the situation and prepare comprehensive reports, which were submitted to him.
“The security audit has been completed. Now, the steps have been initiated to plug the gaps and intensify surveillance on the routes pointed out in the audit that can be used by the militants for infiltration into the Indian territory,” Sharma said.
He added that the situation was being monitored constantly along the International Border following inputs that 40 to 50 trained militants were camping across the IB on Pakistan side, some of them in the camps, waiting for opportunity to infiltrate into this side of the border but were unable to do so in view of strictness being maintained by the BSF.
Official sources said the security audit of the IB from Kathua to Akhnoor, which comprised about 200 kilometers long IB, has revealed presence of at least 40 to 50 militants opposite the IB, almost all of whom were Pakistanis and comprised the combined cadre of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Tehreek-e-Taliban (TeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
“The battle hardened militants have spread themselves in small groups at different places to find out the areas of less security presence and sneak-in,” sources said, adding that Samba and Kathua sectors remained areas of major concentration of the militants as they fall along the Jammu-Pathankot National Highway.
However, small groups of the militants were also present opposite RS Pura and Akhnoor, sources pointed out.
Sources said the BSF will submit its security audit report to the MHA through the BSF Headquarters.
Asserting that though the BSF has strengthened presence along the entire IB in three districts of Jammu sector including Jammu, Samba and Kathua, sources, however, said that a major focus was being paid in the areas where presence of militants across the border has been observed.
“The BSF was on high alert all along the IB in Jammu sector but it was paying special focus on the areas identified during security audit of the border, which were vulnerable and can be used by the militants for infiltration. Sophisticated gadgetry has also been installed along these areas,” sources said.
According to sources, though the security audit of the entire International Border in Jammu sector took over a month, it would go a long way in curbing infiltration attempts by the militants as during the process, the BSF teams identified vulnerable routes that can be used by the militants for infiltration and accordingly security was strengthened there.
A unique feature of the security audit was that the BSF officers conducted it in each other’s areas.
“For instance, a DIG or a Commandant was deputed in the territory of the officer of his equivalent rank and vice-versa,” sources said.
It may be mentioned here that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had ordered security audit of entire IB in Punjab and Jammu sectors after January 2 terror attack by six militants at Pathankot Indian Air Force (IAF) base in which seven security personnel were killed. All six militants were also killed in the attack.

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