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BSF may be withdrawn from LoC, deployed to secure Indo-Pak IB

The government is mulling a proposal to “thin out” the presence of Border Security Force (BSF) personnel on the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K and deploy them along the International Border (IB) in Punjab and Jammu regions in the wake of the Pathankot airbase terrorist attack.

Officials said a proposal to de-induct at least four out of the dozen-odd battalions of BSF from LoC has already been sent to the Home Ministry and a note for taking the final decision in this regard by the Cabinet Committee on Security will be prepared soon, after deliberations with the Ministry of Defence and the Army.

Top sources in the security establishment said the National Security Council, headed by NSA Ajit Doval, is considering whether all 12 BSF battalions can be removed from the LoC and deployed as the ‘second tier’ of defence, behind the existing BSF positions, along the IB that has witnessed incidents of terrorists crossing over the border to attack vital military, police and civilian establishments in Jammuand Punjab.

The move, however, is being strongly opposed by senior BSF commanders as they feel that its removal from LoC, where its men are deployed under the operational command of the Army will take away vital exposure of the personnel, who have been performing ‘war time’-like duties on this frontier with Pakistan since 1965.

“A proposal in this regard is being discussed at present. The proposal entails that a good number of BSF battalions should be withdrawn from LoC and re-deployed as the second tier of security along IB which is prone to infiltration attempts,” a senior official said.

He, however, said no ground assessment of forward areas along the Pakistani frontier has been done in this regard.
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