Accusing the Pakistani Army and the Rangers of facilitating infiltration, BSF chief Raman Srivastava on Tuesday said the Indian Army and BSF have been alerted along the border to foil attempts by a large number of militants waiting at different launching pads to cross over.
“We have inputs from various sources that a large number of militants are waiting at different points along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) at different launching pads in Pakistan to enter this side,” he told reporters at BSF headquarters here after placing a wreath on the body of DIG O P Tanwar.
The 52-year-old Tanwar was killed on MOnday in a blast triggered by militants near the Indo-Pak border in Samba district’s Ballad post where he had gone to conduct a combing operation after the area came under fire from across border.
Mr. Srivastava said the entire border has been alerted. “The Army has been alerted along LoC. We are alert on IB,” he said.
“We are trying to prevent infiltration. We expect a surge in infiltration before snow closes the passes. We know they (militants) are going to try. They have tried in past. We have repulsed them at many places.”
Asked if Pakistani Rangers were involved in facilitating infiltration, the BSF DG said the Pakistani Rangers and the Army have “always” facilitated infiltration. “You see that it is not an old thing. It is also nothing new“.
To repeated questions on direct involvement of Pakistan elements in triggering the blast in which the DIG was killed and also in facilitating infiltration, he said, “We cannot say it was done by the Pakistani rangers or ISI. We cannot pin point who is directly responsible”.
Srivastava said infiltrators were not allowed to cross the border in the Ballard-Samba sector. “They were sent back, but they left behind an IED which claimed the life of the DIG.
They will keep making attempts. It is our job to see that their attempts do not succeed,” he said.
Asked about increase in infiltration attempts along the IB, he said the militants are getting frustrated. “When you strengthen one area, they go for a weaker area. But we are trying to see that no area is weak.”
Terming the killing of the DIG as very unfortunate, he said, “It was a tragic incident. The incident has happened. We will have to check who did it. We have to find out and what we should do about it.”
Mr. Srivastava said, “We are taking it (killing of DIG BSF) very seriously. We will see that appropriate action is taken and appropriate responses are lodged (with Pakistan).
“We have already lodged a protest with Pakistan and, as usual, they said we do not know anything. A DIG-level meeting was held yesterday in which Brigadier Masood took part from Pakistan side.”
On whether a group of militants had infiltrated through the Ballard-Samba sector on Monday, he said, “We have foiled the infiltration bid as militants escaped when we retaliated“.
The first to lay wreath on his body was wife of the deceased officer Devyani Tanwar and his two children, followed by DG BSF, Director General of Police J&K Kuldeep Khoda, General Officer Commanding of 9 corps Lt Gen G M Nair and Special DG BSF West P P Sandhu.
The body was later flown to his native place in Haryana.