After transferring two of its senior officers from Gurdaspur for alleged lapses leading to the Pathankot attack, the BSF
has now instituted a Court of Inquiry (CoI) against them to fix responsibility.
Gurdaspur Deputy Inspector General N K Tiwari and Commandant of the 132nd battalion deployed in the area S S Dabas have been transferred “pending inquiry”, officials said.
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They said the headquarters of the border guarding force has instituted a CoI into the possible occurrence of breach along the International Border (IB) from this area in the recent past, following which a fact-finding team is also scouring the frontier locations for evidence.
The two officers and their men were tasked with securing the IB in Punjab area.
“The officers have been replaced by DIG A Srinivasan and Commandant I P Bhatia. The CoI will ascertain the role of the commanders in the backdrop of Pathankot attack and few others in the Jammu region where BSF mans the IB,” said a BSF official. “While the force has found no evidence to say that the IB has been breached or infiltrated, the CoI and the NIA investigation into these cases will throw more light,” he added.
BSF’s role has come under scrutiny after intelligence reports suggested that terrorists who perpetrated the January 2 attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot had possibly crossed over from Bamial area in the district which has patches of riverine and unfenced border areas.
It remains to be seen what the CoI concludes in its investigation as BSF defences on the Punjab border are handicapped because of lack of manpower and technological solutions to cover the riverine gaps.
BSF has been writing to the Home Ministry for years to strengthen defences along the Punjab border, both in terms of manpower and equipment. Following the July 2015 Dinanagar attacks, these demands became more vociferous. However, until now, no decision on this front has been taken by the Home Ministry.