Kupwara attack exposes chinks in security of military installation

Kupwara attack exposes chinks in security of military installation

Govt has not implemented measures suggested by a panel

Kupwara attack exposes chinks in security of military installation

The Kupwara attack on Thursday, the fourth terror attack on an armed force establishment in 16 months, has exposed several chinks in the protective armour of the military stations.

The defence ministry sources said the government did little to implement measures to improve the perimeter security of the military installation around the country as suggested by an expert committee.

Headed by former Army Vice Chief Lt Gen Philip Campose, the panel was set up in the wake of the January 2016 terror strike on the Pathankot air base. Other members of the panel were Maj Gen Vijay Singh, Rear Admiral Mukul Asthana and Air Vice Marshal D S Rawat — three retired officers who examined the boundary security of several units.

It had submitted its report to the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar in May 2016.

The report recommended several protective measures including installation of technology-based security infrastructure, positioning of well-trained and armed quick reaction teams at high threat, high priority military bases, besides conducting periodic security audits.

Sources said the ministry forwarded only the guidelines for security of defence installations to the services headquarters nearly six months after the report was presented. But other recommendations have not been addressed so far.

Incidentally, the three page draft guideline were issued to the army, air force and navy, a day before the audacious strike on an army camp in Nagrota on November 28.

It was preceded by another strike in the garrison town of Uri, on September 18, where four heavily armed militants killed 17 men in a military camp. This led to the “surgical strike” on the terror camps across the Line of Control, 10 days later.

From Pathankot to Uri, Nagrota and now Kupwara, as many as four times terrorists from across the border, could breach the perimeter security of the military installations, which are safeguarded more  than the civilian enclosures.