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Barmer: A Sensitive Spot on Indo-Pak Border
|by R C Ganjoo|
Pakistan is always waiting for any opportune laxity on Indo-Pakistan International Border (IB) in Barmer sector in Rajasthan opposite to Sindh province of Pakistan, being guarded by Border Security Forces (BSF) to push fake Indian currency, arms and ammunitions and contrabands. But the alert BSF spread on 240 k.m on this border is equally ready to face any challenge from Pakistan side.
Recently, Pakistan has deployed a section of its army along with the Rangers managed by Scorp Karachi 18 Div. Hyderabad (Pakistan). Gardra Forward Post of BSF on Barmer sector, just 200 mts from IB is covered by , Damaka on left and Aliyani from right posts by Pakistani Rangers .
According to Commandant M L Garg “our jawans are on 24x7 vigils. After every 500 mts distance one BSF jawan is on duty during day times and after every 250 mts distance during night hours one jawan is deployed with night vision equipments.” The district of Barmer has about 240 km of common border with Pakistan. An 8 k.m sand track links Gadra road railway station with the Pakistani village of Gadra.
The 1,048 km Rajasthan –Pakistan International border was fenced and flood –lit by 1999. Due to this, terrorism and other anti-national acts from across the border have been checked, according to parliamentary standing committee report on border fencing.
According to media reports Pakistan’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) called “Jasoos” have been spying on their security arrangements and security forces activities on Indian land from the IB of Pakistan. As per the international air space rules and bilateral agreements with neighboring sovereign country such flying activities are permitted 10 k.m. But it is not possible to take action because they are flying within the Pakistani border, according to defence sources.
In January last year, BSF recovered a huge cache of explosive dating back to the 1965 India-Pakistan war buried safely under the ground from Barmer district of Rajasthan. In 2013, a Pak national was arrested on his arrival at Munabao railway station for carrying fake Indian currency worth Rs 20,000 in the denomination of Rs 500.Mohammad Yusuf, resident of Hyderabad city.
(Pakistan) was sent to Jodhpur jail. Pakistan’s secret agency ISI had tried many times to push fake currency notes into India through Pakistani national coming to India boarding the Thar Express. Rs 1.83 lakh Indian Currency was recovered from a Pakistani citizen on board the Thar Express at Munabao in March, 2012. He claimed he had collected through donations from the villages residing in border areas for religious leader in Pakistan.
From Barmer border the Thar Express, connecting Rajasthan (Jodhpur) in India with Sindh (Karachi) in Pakistan also passes through it, touches Munabao village and enters Khokhrapar on Zero point border station on Pakistan side. The two counties had reopened the Munabao-Khokhrapar railways link in February 2006 after it was shut down during Indo-Pak war in 1965. Former Minister of Rajasthan Amin Khan had demanded that the people be allowed to board from Munabao. But the government has declined his demand due to security reasons.
Barmer a border block situated on Indo-Pak IB consists 50 Gram Panchyats and has 314 villages. And Gadara tehsil of District Barmer has the population of 12,000. Garda city has 100 percent population of Hindus whereas in adjoin villages have 100 percent population of Muslims.
Barmer is extremely sensitive border. “With our herculean efforts we have brought border crimes under control in spite of high temperature touching 55 degree Celsius during summer with sand storm and 2-5 degree Celsius in winter, “told Garg. Under his command his jawans and officials have involved the border populations in helping medical camps and counseling, to maintain peace and communal harmony in Barmer border area. Besides their hard duty, BSF has turned desert into greenery under plantation drive.
BSF soldiers deployed on Rajasthan IB border, braving extreme heat and cold with no hardship allowances whereas Gujarat sector is declared hard station for them. In Gujarat Border Outposts have composite facilities provided by Narinder Modi, Chief Minister Gujarat with concrete roads connectivity and drinking water pipe line stretched from 300 k.m, said a soldier posted at Gadra forward outpost.
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