A day after Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir contradicted Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the number of terrorists who attacked the Pathankot air base in January, and said the terrorists had entered from the Punjab border, BSF Director General K K Sharma on Wednesday termed the details provided by Ahir as “conjecture”.
In reply to a question by Congress MP Ravneet Singh, Ahir had said that “four Pakistan-based terrorists entered Punjab via Janial road, Dhusi turn, near Ravi river bridge, Gulpur Simli village—Akalgarh”.
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Rajnath Singh had said six terrorists had carried out the attack. Ahir’s statement was confirmation that the terrorists had infiltrated from the Punjab border, manned by BSF. The force has maintained that it has not found any evidence of infiltration on Punjab border as far as the Pathankot attack is concerned. A formal inquiry conducted by BSF also came up with a similar result.
On Wednesday, when the BSF chief was asked about Ahir’s reply, he said, “It is a matter of conjecture. We did not find any breach on the fence.” Sharma said the terrorists may have come through riverine gaps, but no evidence was found to confirm it.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is investigating the case, has maintained that the terrorists came through the Punjab border. Punjab SP Salwinder Singh’s car was hijacked by the terrorists near the Janial border to reach the Pathankot air base.
Sharma also said that after the surgical strikes, all infiltrations have taken place through the LoC, under Army vigil, and not the International Border (IB), which the BSF guards.
Interacting with the media on the eve of BSF’s 51st Raising Day, Sharma said the noise over increasing infiltration across India-Bangladesh border is “notional” and that there is no evidence to suggest that the numbers are very high. Asked what the BSF is doing to stop increasing infiltration from Bangladesh, he said, “It’s notional that lakhs of people are crossing the border illegally. There is no figure with any agency that can corroborate that idea.”
He said the Indo-Bangladesh border is porous and it is humanly impossible to stop interactions between people on both sides, as they share a similar culture and language.
Sharma also said the BSF has become the first force to replace physical training with yoga, and that yoga guru Ramdev is giving training to the troops. He said the BSF personnel are being trained in investing in the stock market through index funds.