Balloons flying in with threatening and confusing messages post the Indian Army’s surgical strikes are a form of ‘psychological operation’ being carried out by Pakistan to unsettle those living in hamlets along the International Border in Jammu and Punjab, according to an officer of the Border Security Force.
The balloons and a pigeon with messages landed in Treva in Arnia sector of Jammu district, Raipur in Samba sector, Ghesal village in Dinanagar sector and Simbal post in Bamiyal sector in Pathankot along IB since October 1.
“It is a type of psychological operation (‘psy ops’) by people across the border to demoralise the border population and confuse security agencies,” a senior BSF officer said, requesting anonymity.
Another officer wondered if Pakistanis were using the balloons to check India’s response time.
A balloon, which was carrying a message for someone to ‘carryout a task satisfactorily as we are sending you something’, came from Pakistan and landed in Treva hamlet in the fields of one Sunil on Tuesday.
“It was handed over to police by the villagers,” a police officer said.
Similarly on October 2, another such balloon landed up in Raipur border hamlet in Samba and was picked up by a child.
It carried a message ‘war is only revenge India’, police said.
A pigeon, apparently flying in from across the border, was held after a letter written in Urdu and addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was found with it by BSF personnel at the Simbal post in Bamiyal sector in Pathankot on Sunday.
Police said the message written on a piece of paper read: ‘Modiji, do not consider us the same people as we were during 1971 (Indo-Pak war). Now each and every child is ready to fight against India.’
The pigeon was found by the BSF near their post, inspector of Narot Jaimal Singh Police Station (Pathankot) Ramesh Kumar had said.
“The pigeon was carrying the letter when it was found,” he said, adding the bird has been taken into ‘custody’.
“We are investigating the matter,” Kumar said.
On October 1, two balloons with a message, written in Urdu and purportedly addressed to the prime minister were found at Ghesal village in Dinanagar near IB, which had witnessed a terror attack last year.
Police got the message, written on a piece of paper and pasted on the yellow-coloured balloons, translated. It read: ‘Modiji, Ayubi ki talwaren abhi hamare paas hain. Islam zindabad.’
The balloons were first seen by a villager near his house on Tuesday and when he found the note written in Urdu, he handed them over to the police.
On August 16, a balloon carrying a Pakistan flag was found in Fatehpur village near the Indo-Pak border in Jammu, triggering panic among the residents.
“One balloon with a Pakistani flag landed in Fatehpur village here on August 14,” the official said.
The green coloured balloon had a picture of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and a message in Urdu, he said.
In July, the police had recovered a balloon from Jhande Chak village near Dinanagar. It had a picture of the Pakistani flag painted, along with a message ‘I love Pakistan’ written on it.
IMAGE: Police officials show a 'Pakistani pigeon' (in cage) that was captured by BSF jawans in Bamiyal sector, with a message written in Urdu that Pakistans every child is ready to fight with India and they would take revenge of atrocities committed in Kashmir, in Gurdaspur. Photograph: PTI Photo