Jammu: Apprehending attack by Pakistan's Border Action Team (BAT) on forward posts and patrol parties in the run up to Republic Day, Army has sounded an alert along the boundary with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
Battling thick fog, treacherous terrain and unpredictable enemy, soldiers armed with thermal imagers and surveillance equipments are keeping a hawk eye on any movement along the Line of Control.
According to officials, there are intelligence inputs that BATs, which are small groups of specialised Pakistani troops supported at times by terrorists, could strike in the run up to Republic Day, especially as US President Barack Obama will be visiting the country.
“As per Intelligence inputs there is a possibility of Pakistan Army's Border Action Team crossing over into Indian Territory and targeting posts,” a senior Army officer told PTI.
The BAT could also target Indian patrol parties near the LoC, he said, adding army is keeping a close watch on LoC and troops are vigilant.
“Any such BAT action by Pakistani with covering fire from its border posts would be counted as diplomatic offencive to rake up Kashmir issue,” the officer said.
Asked about the possible terror attacks along LoC, Spokesperson of Udhampur based Northern Command Headquarters, Col S D Goswami told PTI that troops are vigilant. The BAT generally targets patrol teams or isolated posts across the LoC.
“BAT operations are specialised military actions conducted in close vicinity of enemy posts across the LoC and need detailed planning preparation and support,” Col Goswami said.
The Line of Control with Pakistan stretches up to 740 km, out of which India has fenced 550 km to stop infiltration and smuggling. The international border stretches to over 180 km in Jammu frontier.
Major BAT attacks were carried out in 2013. On August 6 that year, in an audacious and provocative attack, Pakistani troops had entered Indian territory along the Line of Control in the Poonch sector and ambushed a patrol killing five Indian soldiers.
Pakistani troops on January 8, 2013 had crossed into the Indian Territory and ambushed an Army patrol party beheading two jawans Lance Naik Hemraj and Sudhakar at Sarla post along LoC in Poonch.
In May last year, an army jawan was killed and two of his colleagues were injured in an attack by suspected BAT which set off a mine blast and opened fired on a patrol party along LoC near Akhnoor.