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India puts up 'Death Trap' at border, Pak sees RED

September 05, 2013 12:50 IST

India puts up 'Death Trap' at border, Pak sees RED

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The three-tier border fencing along the Line of Control has turned into a ‘death trap’ for infiltrating militants, leading to desperation among militant ranks and repeated firings on Indian posts from across the border, the army has said.

"It is impossible for infiltrating militants to cross over the three-tiered border fencing along the LoC. There is desperation in militant leadership and the Pakistani establishment due to failure to cross over the fencing," said Brigadier A Sengupta.

Commanding the front brigade deployed to guard the LoC in forward sectors, Sengupta said, "There is firing on the fencing at times from across due to desperation caused as a result of failure to push in armed militants this side. They are violating the ceasefire, targeting Indian forward posts and resorting to mortar firing".

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Image: A BSF soldier patrols near the fenced border with Pakistan in Suchetgarh, southwest of Jammu
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters

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Armed with thermal imagers and surveillance equipment, the fencing from Malu (Akhnoor) in Jammu district to Kanzalwan in Kupwara district of Kashmir Valley -- covering 490 km of LoC and 190 km of the International Border from Malu to Pathankote in Punjab -- has become a major hurdle for infiltrating militants.

As per intelligence reports, there are over 300 militants waiting across the LoC to infiltrate for the past three to four months, but they are unable to cross over due to fencing and increased vigilance by troops and ground surveillance equipment, the army officer said.

"They fire on posts to force jawans to keep their movement restricted to posts so that they can try and engineer infiltration of militants," he said.

"Not even a single infiltration has taken place this year in this sector. All infiltration bids have been foiled," said Major General V P Singh, who is looking after operational control of the 220-km long LoC in Rajouri-Poonch region.

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Image: Kashmiri village girls walk near a signboard that reads: 'My India (is) Great'
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

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Army feels the border fencing along the Indo-Pak border has virtually turned into a death trap for ultras, as 28 infiltrating militants were killed when troops foiled bids this year.

Passing through dense woods, narrow valleys and riverine areas along the LoC and the international border, the fence has proved to be a major deterrent against cross-border infiltration, as it acts as a "round-the-clock" guard, the army officers said.

"The army continues to maintain a state of high alert along the LoC and work on repairing damaged parts of the fence. That continues to make this round-the-clock guard more effective," they said.

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Image: A road leading towards Churunda village is pictured near the Line of Control in Churunda village, about 129 km northwest of Srinagar
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters

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The army has also mapped new probable routes of infiltration and vigilance is being maintained by soldiers equipped with ground sensors, thermal imagers and battlefield surveillance radars, they said.

The Line of Control and International Border in Poonch sector and Jammu frontier have become active with Pakistani troops violating the ceasefire and repeatedly attacking forward posts.

Six jawans were killed and 11 people injured in ceasefire violations and firing by Pakistan troops on forward posts, civilian areas and patrolling parties along the Indo-Pak border during August.

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Image: A Pakistani soldier aims his rifle towards Kashmir at his position on the Line of Control in Chakoti
Photographs: Reuters

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People living along the LoC are relaxed as the fencing has brought down infiltration.

"Earlier, militants used to stay in their houses, take food at gunpoint and misbehave with their womenfolk," they said, adding, "Now, border dwellers are fully supporting the army against infiltrating militants".

According to intelligence reports, of the 1,300-1,450 militants set to be pushed into India, over 1,000 were in 21 camps and launching pads along the LoC and 450 in four bases along the IB.

These included Bagh, Kahuta, Hazira, Goi, Jandro, Nikia, Sensa, Mirpur, Khuiratta, Saman, Zafarwal and Sialkote forward, it said.

The launching pads are at Bhimber, Bindi, Samani, Marar, Shakergarh, Dhallapur, Manana, Nikial, Goi, Sensa, Hajira, Ralaur and Garnun opposite Kathua in Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch sector.

Nearly 300 militants are in Chirat-Kahuta-Goi area and 150-155 in Sensa-Kotli-Nakial belt opposite Poonch.

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Image: An Indian soldier stands guard during a fair at Chamliyal in Jammu and Kashmir
Photographs: Amit Gupta/Reuters

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