A 179-km-long embankment being built to make the border "impenetrable"

Even as the Border Security Force (BSF) gears up to further increase security along the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir by constructing a large embankment to check infiltration, BSF Director General Subhash Joshi on Friday refuted charges that in September terrorists took advantage of a breach in its defence mechanism to cross over the border in the Samba sector and attack a police outpost and a Cavalry unit of the Army.

“We carried out an in-depth analysis [after the attack] and saw that the fence was intact. There are some ‘nullahs’ along the fence and they were well-guarded and on that day [September 26] all mechanisms were in place. We have not come across any such transgression and this is where it stands today,” Mr. Joshi told journalists here at the BSF’s annual press conference, held two days before the force’s 48th Raising Day.

Notably, initial reports after the attack, which led to loss of 10 lives, including that of a senior Army officer, suggested that three terrorists sneaked into India through an unfenced area close to a rivulet flowing along the border.

Asserting that there was no lapse in vigil by the BSF personnel deployed in the Samba sector, Mr. Joshi said extra steps were being taken to make the border impenetrable, which include construction of a 179-km-long embankment before the fence.

“The government had approved the project five years back … At present, the process of acquiring land for creating the embankment is being done by the State government. The process involves relocation of some villages and as of now 40 per cent of the land has been acquired.”

Ceasefire violations

Referring to ceasefire violations along the border, he said though the past one month had been relatively peaceful, the force had not lowered its guard and was ready for any challenge.

“We have agreed with our [Pakistani] counterparts in deploying mechanisms for maintaining the sanctity of the border,” he added. Over 200 cases of ceasefire violations on the border have taken place this year.

On the eastern front, Mr. Joshi said illegal migration from Bangladesh had come down, as almost 75 per cent of the India-Bangladesh border area had been fenced so far.

“There cannot be a foolproof border but surely instances of illegal crossings have come down. There are polls in Bangladesh next year ... We are prepared in terms of any security-related challenges that may occur along the frontier.”