Infiltration is a threat our jawans have to face daily. Guarding the international border with Pakistan and Bangladesh is not easy, but the BSF tries very hard not to let infiltrators sneak past them. Though much of India’s borders with neighbours is fenced, it is not enough to keep infiltrators – many of them terrorists – out. Of course, is it not an uphill task to guard 24 hours a 3323 km long border (including LoC) with Pakistan and a 4,095 km long border with Bangladesh? So how does the BSF guard the border? What do they do when they encounter an infiltrator?
There is a distance of around 3.5 km between two posts. Each post is guarded round the clock by 35 BSF jawans.
Watchtowers along the entire length of the international border are equipped with binoculars and scopes. Although the entire border fence is well-lit, jawans are equipped with night-vision goggles as they patrol the border 24 hours
In the marshlands of Kutch, jawans use hovercrafts and boats for patrolling. They use camels, jeeps or patrol on-foot along the border in Thar Desert of Rajasthan. In Jammu and Kashmir, BSF jawans and even Indian army soldiers use vehicles for patrolling or go on-foot.
A BSF Soldier with an ATV in the background on the Rann of Kutch. DeshGujarat
When the troops guarding the border encounter a suspect – an infiltrator – they first issue a warning but do not fire.
If the suspected infiltrator ignores the warning, the troops fire with the intention of injuring the infiltrator. It is only when the suspected infiltrator fires do the troops retaliate with full force.
The decision to fire varies according to the situation on the border. Orders for firing are not awaited.
The Indian side never fires first.
Although patrolling along the border is very tight, infiltrators sometimes manage to crawl in.
The troops look for footprints to confirm whether infiltration has happened at a particular location.
It is usually easy to find footprints on the desert and on marshlands but not in J&K. Still, jawans find it better to keep an eye out for footprints here also.
Sometimes, we hear about flag meetings between senior officers of the border guards of India and Pakistan. So how does that happen?
Say the Indian side proposes a flag meeting. In that case, an Indian trooper raises a white flag near the border pillar with Pakistan.
A Pakistani trooper then raises a battalion flag on his side of the border pillar. The troopers exchange messages and take them back to their respective commanders. the senior officers then meet at the no man’s land for talks.
The BSF is also armed with some of the most advanced weapons and communication systems that make them highly efficient in guarding the country’s borders. [Read More: 15 Things You Should Know About BSF