Having lost several personnel to sniper attacks from Pakistan along the western border, the Border Security Force (BSF) has now developed a special bulletproof bunker that allows vigilance of the border area through a periscope.
Sources said that Pakistani snipers would earlier target BSF personnel through a small hole kept open in the wall of sandbags, which would allow personnel keeping vigil to fire his gun and to look out. However, with a periscope in place of a hole, the bunker would be packed from all sides, barring a small hole to fire the gun, thereby reducing the chances of casualties in sniper attacks.
“We are very concerned about sniper attacks. To deal with it, we have developed a bullet-proof bunker from where personnel can keep watch and retaliate to attacks without the threat of being hit by a sniper. It is at the moment being used as a pilot. We are soon going to replicate it on all borders,” BSF Director General R K Mishra said.
The bunker will also be fitted with normal and thermal imaging cameras to ensure an uninterrupted surveillance of the border, even when one is not looking through the periscope.
A senior BSF officer added that the bunker is made of thick armour and bullet-proof glass, and can be practically lifted and placed anywhere. The portability will come in handy for the force when shifting vigil posts.
Apart from this, the BSF has also made tactical changes and launched several operations in the past few months against Pakistani forces to avenge the killing of its soldiers. In January and June, the BSF launched operations Bhim I and Bhim II to specifically target Pakistan forces.
“Tactical headquarters of all battalions were established at the International Border (IB) and a comprehensive retaliation plan was worked out. BSF responded in a targeted and deliberate manner so that the (Pakistan) Rangers were pinned down and confined to their posts. BSF surgically targeted Pakistan posts in retaliatory firing which resulted in heavy losses to the Pakistan Rangers,” Mishra said.
The BSF DG also expressed concern over the killing of a BSF personnel and the subsequent mutilation of his body by Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) in September. Mishra said, “We have given a befitting reply to the adversary. It is, however, difficult to quantify the damage across the border,” echoing a statement by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who recently said at a public meeting that some action had been taken against Pakistan.
On being asked if he concurred with fears about infiltration of Khalistani militants into India following the opening of Kartarpur corridor, Mishra said, “More people cross the Wagah border daily. I don’t think managing things (in the Kartarpur corridor) would be a challenge.”