Niharika Hooda Writes: The Border Security Force of India has put in operation, a dozen “laser walls” along the India-Pakistan international border in Punjab to keep a close watch and block infiltration and terrorists from entering the Indian state. Eight infra red and laser beam intrusion detection system are now operational in the sensitive infiltration prone areas of the Indo-Pak international border in Punjab and four more reportedly are going to be installed in the coming days. These said areas are difficult to monitor because of absence of wired fencing which are difficult to install due to the treacherous terrain and porous riverine.
The decision to put laser walls was taken two years back in the milieu of increasing cross border terror. The aim is to tighten the border security in the sensitive areas using modern equipments. A blueprint was prepared by the Press Trust of India in this regard which stated that a total of 45 such laser walls will be installed in these areas along the international border in Punjab and Jammu. According to the blueprint, this is a pilot project for deploying “technological solutions” for effective guarding of the international border at two “sensitive” riverine stretches in Jammu sector. This entails deployment of smart sensors to pick up suspected movements along the International Border and will be conducted by the BSF and a team of technical experts.
The laser walls have started functioning and the functioning of their sensors are being monitored through a satellite-based signal command system and armed with night and fog operability tools. Other pilot projects of similar kinds are said to have been approved by the home ministry for securing of the international border in Jammu, Gujarat and one in west Bengal along the Indo-Bangladesh border. And the work on them is expected to commence by next month.
The activation and deployment of these walls were sped up after the Pathankot terror attack because it was suspected that the terrorists involved in this attack had crossed over from Pakistan by breaching the border from Bamiyal area in Punjab. The incident also resulted in the deployment of an additional battalion in Punjab sector with the increase in ambush operations and patrols in the area. It is reported that the BSF is also considering deploying at least four more battalions in Punjab and Jammu border areas.
This was inevitable and was bound to happen due to an increase in illegal movements and terror attacks in the Indian soil. The illegal movements are difficult to monitor in some places because of the tricky terrain and also because of porous borders that India shares with some of its neighbours. This fact is used by the terrorist groups in some countries especially Pakistan to enter into India. The recent Pathankot incident gave proof of these faultlines in the national security apparatus along the international border where the vulnerability of these infiltration prone areas was used to wage terror in India. Transnational terrorism is on the rise globally and with the proximity of the Indian state to Pakistan-Afghanistan border area, which is a breeding ground for terrorism around the world, India needs to enhance its security. The laying up of these laser walls is a much awaited and welcomed move towards countering such threats to the national security of India. If the pilot project stands successful (the putting up of laser walls in the J&K region will ultimately aid in curtailing terrorist activities of Pakistan) then one can think of using it in other sections also. This will also help in securing the porous borders of Nepal and Bangladesh which are often used by these terror groups.
- PTI, ‘Laser walls’ activated along India-Pakistan border to plug gaps in vigil, Times of India, Apr 27 2016, @ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Laser-walls-activated-along-India-Pakistan-border-to-plug-gaps-in-vigil/articleshow/52012679.cms
- Dileep Thekkethil, BSF activates “laser walls” along Indo-Pak border in Punjab, The American Bazaar, April 28 2016.