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Pathankot: BSF constitutes team to ascertain border breach

PTI 07 Jan 2016, 23:20:30 IST
PTI

New Delhi: Facing flak for possible ingress of terrorists from Indo-Pak border right under its nose, BSF has constituted a fact-finding team headed by a DIG-level official to ascertain possible route taken by a group of terrorists who later attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.

The team will submit its report to the BSF headquarters here within a fortnight.

The headquarters has asked field commanders to provide all assistance to the five-member team which will travel to select areas along the Indo-Pak International Border (IB) in Punjab and Jammu.

Officials said a meeting to deliberate on these issues was held today between Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and BSF Director General D K Pathak after which it was also decided to chalk out a fresh protocol for checking infiltration and plugging of gaps along the riverine and dense forest areas of the IB.

The said the DG reiterated during his meeting with Mehrishi that it has found no evidence of a breach or emergence of a tunnel or any secret route along the IB in these two states which could have been exploited by the terrorists to sneak in and launch the deadly attack.  

The meeting, it is understood, also discussed deployment of at least two more battalions (about 2,000 personnel) of the BSF in vulnerable areas of the IB in order to keep an effective vigil on the movements here day and night.  

Read Also: Operation to fully sanitise Pathankot Air base in last leg

The meeting came in the backdrop of the BSF chief undertaking a tour of the most vulnerable and sensitive areas along the IB yesterday, including Bamiyal, a border village in Pathankot, which is believed to have been used by terrorists to infiltrate into the country and subsequently attack the airbase.

Officials said the requirement to constitute the team was also for the reason that if there exists any hidden breaches along the IB which is prone to be exploited by terrorists and other elements, it needs to be checked and plugged immediately.

They said the force has thwarted 72 infiltration bids along the IB in the last year and all of these have been in the Jammu region and none in the Punjab area and hence it will be important to know if there are any vulnerable areas along the frontier here which are being clandestinely used by terrorists to cross over to India.

The BSF had also submitted a 'current ground situation' report to the Home Ministry in this regard putting forth the details of its night 'morchas' and movement of its patrol teams in these areas around the new year, when it is suspected that at least six terrorists crossed over from the other side to reach the strategically important Indian Air Force base.