In the last five years, the Border Security Force (BSF) in Gujarat has apprehended about 96 infiltrators on the Indo-Pakistan border. This includes over 14 Pakistanis (till November) who have been caught trying to sneak across into Indian territory.
“A pilot project of setting up a laser fence is on at a couple of places. Once it is tested and is successful, we will implement it here… This system will have a lot of advances including CCTVs,” said G S Malik, IG BS, Gujarat frontier, during an interaction at the BSF headquarters at Chiloda on the eve of the 53rd Raising Day of BSF.
This laser fence is considered important for the Indo-Pakistan border in Gujarat because, out of an estimated 512 kilometres of land border that Gujarat shares with Pakistan, only 340 kilometres has been sanctioned for fencing. Of this, only a little over 280 kilometres has been fenced. The rest of the area is yet to be covered as the marshy and water-logged terrain is not considered feasible for construction of a fence. This stretch is expected to be covered using nonphysical barriers like a laser fence.
In September 2018, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had inaugurated two pilot projects under Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) in Jammu, where, using a high-tech surveillance system an invisible electronic barrier is begin crated on the land, water and air to help track infiltrators on the International Border in Jammu. CIMBS involves thermal imagers, infra-red and laser-based intruder alarms and other surveillance mechanisms.
Talking about the vigil maintained by BSF on the IB with Pakistan, Malik said, “We are very much alert. You would have seen the number of seizures including boats and fishermen. Intrusion is not easy. At regular intervals, we have been catching fishermen and those who try to intrude.”
Most of the intrusion happens through the sea near the disputed Sir Creek area in Kutch district. Between 2014-18, a total of 96 infiltrators were nabbed on the Indo-Pak border. In the year 2018, a total of 14 Pakistanis were caught by the BSF, which include nine Pakistani fishermen and 11 boats.
Similarly, in 2017, 20 Pakistani fishermen and 38 boats were seized by the BSF for intruding into Indian territory. According to BSF officials, a large quantity of fishes, crabs and prawns are a big lure for Pakistani fishermen who venture into the creeks on the Indian side looking for a better catch.
In order to keep an eye on the difficult terrain including those near Sir Creek, BSF is also using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). These UAVs are operated with the help of the Indian Air Force (IAF). “We carry out UAV missions at regular intervals, especially in the Creek area,” Malik added.