Tuesday, June 17, 2014
As the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony at the Indo-Pakistan border here continues to be a big attraction for tourists from all over India, the Border Security Force (BSF) has added yet another feature to it by hiring a drummer to counter Pakistan’s ‘dholi’ during the 20-minute high-voltage show.
Music is one of the high points of the ceremony enjoyed by thousands of tourists that gather every evening to watch BSF jawans and the Pakistani Rangers outdo each other in the foot-stomping and aggressive postures.
The BSF’s ‘drummer’ has got a pride of place at the terrace of the conference room, with all his drums and gadgets. As soon as the BSF jawans march forward for the ceremony, the drum beats start, adding a gusto to the overall ambience.
As the momentum of the ceremony picks up, the beats of the drum also move towards a crescendo. The beats go in tandem with the marching jawans and the heavy foot stomping. This has not only added colour to the ceremony but also made the entire scenario more electrifying and loud.
Till now, the Pakistani side was using a couple of ‘dholis’, who play the traditional drum ‘dhol’ used during various occasions of celebration in the subcontinent, to add to the impact of the Ranger’s movements. Now, the BSF has positioned its ‘drummer’ to give them a competition.
Talking to HT, BSF DIG MF Farooqui said, “The Retreat ceremony has received enormous attention recently. The drum beats are being used to add colour and make the environment more electrifying. A ‘dhol’ is being played on the Pakistani side. But we have drummer now who has succeeded in achieving greater involvement of the Indian tourists through the drum beats”.
He further said, “We are monitoring this new feature closely and some fine-tuning is done as and when required”.
Drummer Soni Kumar (37), who plays for the BSF, says, “The drum beats have certainly added to the already high voltage ceremony. As soon as the BSF jawans start their movements, I first play a marching beat and later beats are played in consonance with various steps of our troops”.
He said, “Certainly, this a great experience for me as well. I have been told that the ceremony has become louder ever since the drums have been added”.
A LOOK AT BORDER PILLAR
In yet another feature to Retreat ceremony, the BSF now allows all the tourists reaching the ceremony area to see the border pillar that is adjacent to the Indo-Pakistan joint check-post. Earlier, only selected tourists were allowed to do so but now one spots a lot of people coming to see the border pillar. Pakistani nationals also come to have a look at the pillar.
Besides, the BSF also plays audios in Hindi and English that inform the tourists about the history of the ceremony.
Monday, June 16, 2014
AMRITSAR: Border Security Force (BSF) has dropped the plan to rubberize nearly 100 feet long road stretch at Attari, where BSF personnel perform the synchronized daily drill with jawans of Pak Rangers during the flag lowering ceremony.
The personnel will be provided specially fabricated shoes to reduce the impact of stomping during the ceremony. The troops often complain about brain and knee injuries due to the stomping of their heavy shoes on hard road while performing the drill.
"We are not rubberizing the stretch but will provide specially fabricated shoes made with a particular material to protect jawans from any injuries," said BSF inspector general, frontier, A K Tomar.
The exercise, during which the soldiers exchange fiery glances, tweak moustaches, raise legs up to shoulder level, jerk heads and arms, draws droves of Indian and Pakistani tourists on both the sides of the border.
Tomar said BSF had talked to shoe technologists as well as manufacturers and now the trials are being held before providing them to the jawans.
BSF's earlier plan was to rubberize the road but that would not have given the desired effect so the officials decided to lay wooden slabs covered by rubberized material. "That too would not have worked for long, the road could get damage due to movement of passenger buses, so we decided to replace the shoes," said Tomar.
In the past, the BSF had also taken an initiative to do away with the aggressive gestures and shoulder high kicks as one of the preventive measures but the idea was not accepted by Pak Rangers.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
KORAPUT: With Maoists trying to strengthen their base along Odisha-Chhattisgarh border in Nabarangpur district, the BSF recently established two permanent camps to boost its ongoing anti-extremist operations.
"Maoists regularly infiltrate into the state from neighbouring Chhattisgarh due to absence of any permanent security camp on the boundary. Based on specific intelligence inputs we conducted operations, but it was not sufficient. After the camp, regular operation could be carried out and movement of Maoists checked," said SP (Nabarangpur) Brajesh Roy.
He said at least one company of the BSF will be deployed at each of the two camps at Kundai and Raighar.
Once considered a Maoist-free zone, Nabarangpur district is witnessing a spurt in rebel activities along the border.
Members of CPI (Maoist), Chhattisgarh unit, have found safe haven in the forests close to the Chhattisgarh-Odisha border in Nabarangpur's Chandahandi, Raighar, Kundai, Dabugaon and Umerkote blocks that share boundary with Raipur, Bastar and Dhamantari districts of the neighbouring state.
The outlawed organization's Mainpur divisional committee operates in the area and according to intelligence inputs the Red rebels are trying to build a militia group to strike terror in the district.
Police sources said the dense forests of Sitamadi, Hatigaon and Haldi, covering a stretch of around 200 km in length and 40 km in width, lies along the border, providing safe passage to the extremists. While 80% of the forest is in Chhattisgarh, the remaining lie in Nabarangpur.
"In recent times, we have strengthened our presence in the border areas and are determined to contain Maoist activities. The developments are being closely monitored. Operations will be intensified in the days to come," the SP said.
In 2010, Maoists had blown up Kundai police station. Two years later, they gunned down the then Umerkote MLA Jagabandhu Majhi at a weekly market at Gona under Raighar police limits.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
BSF Director General D.K. Pathak has asked the commanders and top officials of the force to sensitise troopers and maintain close relations with people living near the India-Bangladesh border to prevent unwarranted incidents, an official said here Monday.
The Border Security Force (BSF) chief reviewed the security situation along the boundary during a meeting with top officials, sector and battalion commanders here Sunday. Pathak visited Tripura in the wake of recent incidents along the border. BSF trooper Sandip Kumar, 28, and villager Ismail Mia, 70, were killed in a clash between the border guards and villagers along the boundary in Tripura. Eleven people were injured in the incident Friday night at Akhaurah check post on the outskirts of the state capital Agartala.
The Tripura government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. "The BSF DG has asked the sector and battalion commanders to sensitise the jawans and other field officials to prevent recurrence of such incidents. Keeping close relations between the BSF and people would be the priority for the force," BSF Deputy Inspector General Bhaskar Rawat told IANS, citing the force chief. Muslim organisations held protest rallies here Saturday over the incident.
BSF's Inspector General of Tripura frontier B.N. Sharma has met the leaders of the Muslim organisations and assured them to take steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future. BSF Deputy Commandant Jeevan Kumar was lynched by the Bangladeshi smugglers accompanied by the security personnel of that country a few years back while the official was patrolling along the Akhaurah check post. Tripura shares a 856-km border with Bangladesh that is porous because it extends over densely forested mountains. Over 25 to 30 percent of the border is still unfenced. Congested human habitations along both sides of the border often create security-related problems.
Friday, June 6, 2014
To prevent infiltration and flow of arms, ammunition and drugs from the Pakistani side, the Indian authorities are replacing damaged barbed wire fences along the international border, BSF DIG (Gurdaspur sector) N K Mishra said here today.
The barbed wire fences, erected along the Indo-Pak border in Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Ferozepur districts of Punjab during the days of militancy in the eighties, were damaged due to flood and other reasons, Mishra said.
The damaged fencing is being replaced in the periphery that falls in Gurdaspur sector, where it gets affected due to flood in rivers and their tributaries, he said.
The border area of Gurdaspur sector is 116-km long from Jammu to Ajnala in Amritsar district, and is mostly riverine area of Ravi, he said.
Moreover, earlier the fencing was erected on soil which worn out over time, now the barbed wire is being erected on concrete base. The concrete base would be 12-ft high and eight feet wide, he said, adding that the work was being executed by the Central Public Works Department.
The replacing of damaged barbed wire on the international border would not only further strengthen the external security of the country, but also help farmers living on the borders protect their crops from animals across the fence, he added.
Mishra said there are well-lit barbed wire fencing, flood light backed by sound and other devices, thermal imagers, and other equipment installed, along with manual patrolling, in sensitive gaps to ensure that no infiltration takes place from across the border.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
After successfully countering the designs of anti-national elements, the Border Security Force (BSF) is set to acquire all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for patrolling the Punjab frontier on the Indo-Pak border to curb the increased smuggling of narcotics from across the border.
BSF Inspector-General, Punjab Frontier Ajay Kumar Tomar revealed that a proposal has been sent to BSF Delhi headquarters for clearance. "Once cleared, we will get these vehicles soon. Already BSF is using ATVs in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat," he told newspersons here.
This would be the first time that ATVs would be used in this part of the country.
The BSF is using these unique vehicles that help it monitor 4,000 square kilometres of creeks and marshy lands in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.
Sources said with the ATVs, the force will be able to easily patrol the marshy areas and also the small patches of land cut by Ravi and Beas rivers on the border in Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Ferozepur districts.
Also along the international border as during rainy season the kucha track becomes muddy thus it becomes hard to patrol. Besides these can tackle water-logged terrain of a depth of approximately one-and-a-half feet.
At present, the BSF does patrolling on foot and on horseback and also uses boats to patrol the areas which are cut by rivers.
In some patches, where the road is motorable, jeep patrolling is done.
The BSF has already conducted field trials in three areas-Basti Ram Lal Tapu, DT Mal and New Gazniwala-all in Ferozepur district, and these are low-lying areas close to the 553-km border with Pakistan where the movement of troops becomes difficult during rains and floods.
Now, some trials are expected on the border in Amritsar district.
Due to the fibre body, the vehicle can be easily lifted by five to six persons if stuck in mud.
These vehicles can climb on a gradient of 30 degrees and with tubeless tyres, the ride becomes smooth and facilitates negotiation in marshy, sandy and muddy areas.
The electronic fuel injection pump fitted in these vehicles improves the pick-up of these ATVs.
Sources said the force here needs around 10 ATVs but how many such vehicles were bought would depend upon clearance from the BSF headquarters.
In March and April, security agencies in the state made seizures of drugs worth over Rs 800 crore.
Most of the heroin seizure was made by the BSF along the India-Pakistan border.
BSF has already recovered 243.66 kg of heroin this year while last year the haul was around 322 kg in Punjab.
An infiltration attempt from across the international border was foiled by security forces on Tuesday in Kathua district of Jammu & Kashmir.
There was suspected movement of infiltrators near Zeroline on International Border in Bobiya forward Border Out-post in Hiranagar tehsil during midnight, a senior Border Security Force officer told sources.
Alert troops of BSF challenged them and opened fire following which they returned to the Pakistani side, he said.
During search conducted in the area on Tuesday morning, blood stains were found in the area, he said.
The infiltration bid took place in the ‘most-vulnerable’ Via Tarnah nallah area in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district.
BSF has put border guards along IB on high alert to foil the infiltrations.
Monday, June 2, 2014
Ferozepur, June 1, 2014: On Saturday, the newly appointed Director General of Border Security Force, Mahesh Singla was in Ferozepur to visit Hussainiwala Joint Check Post.
During his visit to JCP, in the scorching heat, the Director General also witnessed the retreat ceremony.
During his meeting with the senior officials of BSF, he gave some instructions to his subordinates.
Singla said, due to BSF jawans' vigilant attitude we have achieved a major success in damping the drug peddlers.
He further said, the BSF personal had tried their level best to prevent cross border smuggling, before and during the elections. He gave instructions to the BSF officials to take more stern actions to stop cross border drug pedalling.
Praising the selfless service of BSF officials he said,
It is only due to the BSF personal deputed at border out posts (BOPs) that the resident of border area are living a peaceful and secured life.
Singla said that any BSF official found involved in cross border smuggling, will not be spared and have to face the music of dire circumstances.
NEW DELHI, A former additional director general (ADG) of the Border Security Force (BSF) on Tuesday dropped a bombshell alleging that bureaucrats and Forest Department officials in Assam sold large tracts of forest land to illegal Bangladeshi migrants with fraudulent process.
“Most of the forest land in Guwahati and Kokrajhar was sold to illegal Bangladeshis by Revenue and Forest Department officials with the support of bureaucrats,” said PK Mishra, former ADG of the BSF.
He claimed that in the 2016 Assembly elections in Assam, the Badaruddin Ajmal–led party might capture unexpected number of seats, “if illegal migration to Assam continues in such a way”.
Mishra’s statement will no doubt create ripples in the government as well as in the political circle.
It may be mentioned that Mishra was deployed in the extreme areas along the India–Bangladesh border from 1971 till 1990. He had also supervised the border fencing and floodlighting work in Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and some char areas on the Brahmaputra. Recounting his experience, Mishra said almost all the political parties have been playing vote bank politics with the issue of illegal migration. “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Maoists are the biggest internal threat for the country, but he never mentioned about illegal migrants, which is in fact a serious challenge to country’s security and demographic situation,” he added.
The presence of about six crores illegal Bangladeshi migrants are posing maximum threat to India’s security.
Referring to the recent carnage in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts, Mishra said until and unless the issue of illegal migration is not taken seriously, such incidents will certainly occur in the near future.
The former ADG of the BSF has also authored a book titled ‘Bangladeshi Migrants: A Threat to India’, which deals with the problem of illegal migration.
Shillong, June 01: The BSF organized Health awareness camp on Anemia & and Bone Density screening was organized by Frontier HQ BSF Meghalaya and Composite Hospital BSF Shillong, under the direction of BWWA (BSF Wives Welfare Association). The said camp was inaugurated by Shri S K Tyagi, DIG/PSO of Ftr HQ Shillong and Dr. TapanBiswas, DIG (Medical)/MS welcome all the participants.
Lectures on Anemia and BMI were delivered by Dr. MenkaBharti, SMO of 44 BnBSF and DrSukhjinder Singh, CMO (SG) CH BSF Shillong respectively. Around 150 Officers, SOsORs and families of BSF personnel of various Sectors/Units under Ftr HQ BSF Meghalaya attended the camp.
Bone mineral density screening was conducted with the help of Pharmaceutical Company and approx. 93 Officers, SO’s, ORs and families of Jawan were screened. Report of BMD simultaneously generated and handed over to the individual. They were supplied with informative brochure apprising importance of Bone mineral density and effects of calcium deficiency and it’streatment.
The sole aim of the health Awareness Camp was to spread awareness about different ailments, identification of risk factors, and prevention with life style modification including dietary habits, management along with the role of different kind of food/nutrition in maintaining positive health. Health awareness camp is a continuous process of BSF medical setup to keep the troops and their families abreast of the latest development and advancement in medical field. (SP News)
Report by Manoranjan Routray, Koraput: The Koraput district police, in a raid conducted jointly with 202 COBRA and 118 BSF, arrested Mino Hikaka@ Bikash (28), Area commander of Srikakula Koraput Divisional committee of CPI (Maoist), from Musalmunda forest area under Narayanpatna police station on Sunday 1st June 2014.
Koraput SP Awinash Kumar said, Mino Hikoka is a native of village Dumusil under Narayanpatana block and was operating in Narayanpatna area. Mio Hikaka become militia member in the year 2008 and rapidly elevated to the rank of Naxal commander in Narayanpatna area. He was heading Melecha group which was frontal organization of Maoists in the area, entrusted with the task of identifying suspected police informers and recruiting militia in the area, the SP Awinash Kumar said. According to police sources, he has 16 warrants pending against him.
Other than this he is suspected to be involved in various cases of Naxal violence, looting, road blocking, IED blasting etc.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Timely intervention of Border Security Force (BSF) rescued the life of forest officer in Rann of Kutch on Thursday.
East Kutch Forest Department DFO Bhavin Vyas who was stuck in Rann of Kutch in dehydrate condition without any help or hope was rescued by BSF jawan RS Yadav.
With a permission of BSF, Bhavin Vyas and other forest officials and laborers had entered the Great Rann of Kutch on Thursday morning to check erosion of Hanj bet – the place where large colony of flamingos (Surkhab nagar) is located. Hanj bet is situated in the middle of Khavda and Pakistan border in central part of the Rann of Kutch. The terrain is so hostile and unpredictable here, that one needs to have permission of BSF to enter.
Trouble for forest team started when their vehicles stuck in a marshy land of Rann of Kutch. It was a noon time and there was over 42 degree temperature in this open, salty, marshy no-man-land spread over miles. Added to this, the stock of water was over and worst sufferer Bhavin Vyas was not in position to walk a step.
As Forest team didn’t return back in certain time, Khardoi post BSF PSI RM Yadav went in search of Mr. Vyas and others and reached with five liter water and rescued them successfully.
“I am living due to BSF PSI RM Yadav’s efforts,” Vyas told a local media in Kutch after this incident.