India plans laser wall along LOC

NEW DELHI: India is upgrading its defences to stave off newer challenges posed by belligerent attempts to infiltrate its borders especially with Pakistan. The latest plans envisage using modern technology- laser walls, that will set off an alarm when breached, thermal sensors- to alert control rooms of any living being approaching the fence and even seismic sensors which would be planted underground along the border.

These would record vibrations resulting from tunnelling and alert the control room. This is largely being installed on the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Punjab, which see maximum tunnelling attempts by infiltrators.

The Director General of India’s Border Security Force (BSF)- DK Pathak said, “We're constantly modernising our weaponry and upgrading defences according to the new challenges facing us. We have looked at some of these technologies and have found them suitable.” Such technologies, sources said, are already in use in countries such as Israel.

TOI reports that sources in the BSF said laser beams would form a wall in places such as the riverine parts of Jammu where fencing isn't possible. The system will be connected to an alarm which would go off at any breach. At present about 15% of the Indo-Pak border and about 35% of the Indo-Bangla frontier is unfenced.

Given that terrorists often use tunnels to sneak in, BSF is acquiring seismic sensors to be planted underground along the border- largely along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Punjab. 

BSF plan to set up a "smart fencing system" involves thermal sensors to be installed on fences which would alert control rooms of any living creature reaching the fence. “This would work as an advance alert system where one would have time to reach the area where infiltrators might be attempting to cut a fence and enter. Or a smuggler may be trying to pass on a contraband packet,” said a BSF officer.

The force is also acquiring unmanned aerial vehicles and other surveillance equipment to bolster its border defence. The move comes even though BSF maintains that there is no infiltration from Pakistan on the borders it guards. “In the past three years we have found no evidence of infiltration on international border with Pakistan,” Pathak said.

However, there have been several terror attacks in border areas of Jammu, such as Hiranagar in Kathua, where militants have been suspected to have entered crossing the international border guarded by BSF. However, no agency has as yet found any evidence.

Apart from this, the BSF has deployed one additional battalion on the Indo-Pak border in Gurdaspur to avert any infiltration bid from Pakistan following recent reports of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (ISIS) India plan. “We are alert besides there is no possibility of infiltration from Punjab borders,” said BSF inspector general Ashok Kumar.

Kumar said, “Earlier also there were threats but we are alert.” TOI reports that extra forces have been deployed after Intelligence Bureau reports on possible threats from extremists in Pakistan.

In the past, Pakistan Punjab's Taliban had attacked the Indian border villages in Amritsar sector. There had been three unprovoked incidents of rocket attacks in Amritsar sector where 15 rockets were fired on Indian border villages from Pakistan in July and September 2009 and January 2010.

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