Increase BSF strength at Punjab border as in J&K: Badal

Increase BSF strength at Punjab border as in J&K: Badal

As Punjab faced second terror strike within six months, its Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today sought deployment of more BSF troops along the border with Pakistan and said the state police will set up a "second line of defence" to prevent such attacks in future.

"We are writing to Government of India that BSF deployment should be increased on par with that of J&K.

"The BSF deployment should be increased at least in this area (Gurdaspur and Pathankot) because this is second or third time such an incident has occurred," Badal told reporters here.

He said the state police will come out with a "master plan" for second line of defence.

Badal, who held a review meeting with senior police officials in the wake of the terror attack in Pathankot, also said that he has directed the police authorities to get "mapping done of all vulnerable points along the border".

"If some terrorists manage to sneak from the border into our territory, so we should look at how we can act as a second line of defence.

"I want technology to be used. We will see how we will act as second line of defence, we will have to use CCTVs, laser technology, ground detection system which are internationally-used across borders, specially this area, Gurdaspur and Pathankot... it needs to be done," he said.

Badal said that he will ask Punjab Police DGP to get in touch with all the experts."We have to act as second line of defence. Immediately, we will have new police lines established in Pathankot, one commando batallion will also be set up here so that there is quick response (in the wake of major attacks). A special SWAT team will be stationed in Pathankot district so that there is quick response if any eventuality happens in the future so that we can take quick action," the Deputy CM said.

Asked if there was any security lapse and how the terrorists managed to sneak in, he said "investigations have not yet started as operation is still going on".

"We have our own views, we were convinced on certain views. Question is not Punjab border or Jammu and Kashmir border (from where terrorists sneak in).

Replying to questions, Sukhbir Badal said,"deployment of BSF in the Punjab section of border is not that much...they (Centre) should consider this area also sensitive now.

"Since this incident has happened, this area (Pathankot) touches J&K." "What I am saying is our police will come out with a master plan for a second line of defence, because first line of defence is going to be the BSF.

"Since this incident has happened in our territory, so we will take our own initiative to come up with a second line of defence," he continued.

Asked about the counter operation against terrorists, Badal said, "I cannot give you details of operation as it is still going on. It is not right for me to disclose anything. "Once it is over, complete briefing will take place."

Asked about the kidnapping of a SP by terrorists, Badal said the SP, who was under transfer, had gone to Narot Jaimal block to pay obeisance.

"Had they not caught the SP, may be the situation would have been worse," he said.

Asked about the delay in acting on intelligence about presence of Pakistani militants, Sukhbir Badal said, "Immediately, we informed the Government of India, the local police immediately informed GOI. "We immediately launched operation also at our end."

He further said, "I want to ask one thing, our police knows what it is doing. We don't need to feed police how they have to do their job because certain things cannot be disclosed, we cannot tell you what operation we did and how we did.

"It is not for the media to know. What we are saying is that because we were able to inform the GOI immediately the NSG was called. Within 7-8 hours, we requistioned number of forces to tackle them."

To another question, Badal said, "We are fighting a war against terrorism, we should all unite. This terrorism has to be stopped.

"As Home Minister of my state, I have decided to create second line of defence so that my citizens are protected."

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