BSF launches ‘Operation Sudarshan’ along Punjab, Jammu border

BSF launches ‘Operation Sudarshan’ along Punjab, Jammu border

New Delhi: A mega exercise to fortify the “anti-infiltration grid” along the Pakistan border in Punjab and Jammu has been launched by the Border Security Force (BSF), which has mobilised its entire senior field brass, thousands of troops, and machinery deployed in these forward areas.
The operation, code named ‘Sudarshan’, was launched on July 1 and will cover the entire more than 1,000-km length of the India-Pakistan International Border.
While Jammu shares about 485-km of the sensitive IB with Pakistan, about 553-km of the front is in Punjab. Further, it runs down towards Rajasthan and Gujarat on India’s western flank.
The BSF is the primary force guarding this frontier as the “first line of defence”.
Top sources in the security establishment told PTI that a huge assortment of heavy machinery, communication interceptors and mobile bulletproof bunkers have been mobilised, backed up by thousands of BSF personnel as part of the exercise.
Frontier and battalion commanders (from the Inspector General to the Commandant rank), their second-in-commands and company (unit) commanders of the about 40 battalions of the BSF are camping in the forward areas of the two states to finish the operation within a fortnight and be at their bases by July 15, they said.
Multiple patrols are being undertaken to strengthen Indian defence positions. The commanders have been asked to prepare their watch towers and sentry posts better, replenish arms and ammunition dumps, strengthen artillery positions, check and plug border fence breaches, detect underground and cross-border tunnels.
The commanders have been asked to ensure that the ‘sarkanda’ or elephant grass on the border is cut for better visibility. As part of the operation, big earthen mounds on the International Border will be flattened, new bunkers and ‘ditch-cum-bandh’ (trenches) are being dug, and BSF posts are being better armoured against sniper firing incidents that have claimed lives of many troops in the past. A fleet of heavy and small all-terrain vehicles has been mobilised in these areas and some fresh 4×4 vehicles have been dispatched to be placed on the borders, sources said.
The operation will end by the time monsoon unleashes heavy rains and cuts easy access to forward locations, they said.
While sources dismissed suggestions that the exercise was a reaction to a recent similar movement being noticed on the Pakistani side, they said this was being done to only “fortify Indian defences against infiltration, unprovoked firing and Pakistan Border Action Team (BAT) attacks.”
–PTI