Jawan killed in BAT action and not mutilated, reserve right to retaliate: BSF Chief

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NEW DELHI : Terming the incident of killing of a BSF jawan along the International Border with Pakistan in Jammu earlier this month as a BAT action, the Border Security Force Director General K K Sharma asserted here today that the force reserves the right to retaliate.

Refuting reports that the jawan, Head Constable Narender Singh, was mutilated, Sharma said that it was not a mutilation and his cause of death was due to bullet injuries.

When asked whether the situation has changed after Imran Khan became the Pakistan Prime Minister, Sharma said the situation has not changed, but this particular BAT action happened after he came to power. The BSF Chief, while speaking to reporters on his last working day before retirement, added that there are several terrorist launch pads and camps within five to 10 km and others which are deeper from the IB and Line of Control with Pakistan.

While the BSF modifies its border outposts, it is pinning its hopes on the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS), which Sharma claims is the future of border guarding. He added that it will change the current mode of guarding borders from heavy patrolling to troops in Quick Reaction Teams. This will also provide respite for troops from heavy shelling and sniping from the Pakistani side.

Sharma, when asked about the killing of BSF Head Constable Narender Singh in Pakistani firing along the IB in Jammu earlier this month, said, “This was the first of its kind. Generally on the IB we don’t have BAT action, which take place along the Line of Control.”

BAT stands for Border Action Team consisting of Pakistani special forces and terrorists, who cross the border and launch attacks.

Explaining how he died, Sharma said Narender and his team had gone to clear the grass when the Pakistani side began firing at them. They retreated and later realised Narender is missing. “When they went back they found his cap. There were also some signs of him being dragged and remnants of blood stains,” said Sharma.

He also added that he was not mutilated. “There were three bullet wounds on his body. His throat was slit. The rest is exaggerated,” he said in reference to reports that claimed that Narender was brutally mutilated.

Sharma added that the BSF reserves the right to retaliate. “We have reserved our right of retaliation and time. We have given tough and befitting replies, causing manifold damage. We will do it again. We will see that in near future we do something,” he said.

When asked whether things have changed at the border after Imran Khan became the Pakistani Prime Minister, he said, “Nothing has changed on border. But this incident happened after Imran Khan came. There were no BAT actions earlier. We are taking all precautions to avoid such incident.”

The incident was also raised with the Pakistani authorities but “they always deny”.

Sharma explained that along the IB and LoC on the Pakistan side there are several launch pads and behind them are terrorists training camps. “These launch pads are within 5 to 10 km of the border and sometime deeper,” he said.

While adding that there has been no infiltration along the IB this year, he however said that the cross border firing this year is less compared to the previous two years.

Commenting on the anti-infiltration system, CIBMS, Sharma said, “this is the beginning of a new mode of border guarding. Currently, we guard the borders by mainly patrolling between specific points. But when we will have the CIBMS installed along the Pakistan and Bangladesh borders, then we will shift to the QRT (read as Quick Reaction Team) mode. The technology will be guarding the border. It will sound an alarm when there is a threat and the QRT will respond.”

“This way my men will get some respite from weather, sniping and shelling. This is the future at the border,” he added.

Earlier this month, two pilot projects of the CIBMS each covering 5.5 km patch of land along the IB in Jammu was inaugurated by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The BSF plans to launch a similar project in Dhubri, Assam in December.





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