J&K: Army ramps up vigil amid input of infiltration bids along LoC
Srinagar: At an altitude of about 2250 meters above sea level “Gautam Post” is the last post of the Indian Army at the Line of Control (LoC) of Machil sector, in the Kupwara border district where the soldiers keep eagles’ eye to keep enemies away for Indian territory. If we talk of the 90s when terrorism was at its peak in Kashmir, this sector was the most prone to infiltration and was known as the most popular and commonly used route by infiltrators. Due to the low water in the Kishan Ganga river which divides India and PoK and the similar cultures on both sides of the area, this was one of the easiest passes for terrorists to crores over into the Indian territory.
“Since 2008 till now, more than 350 terrorists have been killed in this sector and more than thousands infiltration bids have been foiled, but Army too had paid price for that, around 80 soldiers laid their lives,” an Indian army official said.
Out of the 740 km long LoC, this area of the Machil sector covers about 25 km of LOC area and in such a small space, there have been more than 1500 infiltration attempts in the last 15 years. But since the cease-fire agreement happened between India and Pakistan in 2019 this area has seen peace.
Now once again intelligence inputs suggest the danger of infiltration in the sector. Inputs suggest that around 200 trained terrorists are waiting on launch pads to infiltrate this side, following which the vigil on LOC has been intensified with day-night patrolling in the area.
The soldiers are also keeping a close watch with the help of sophisticated electronic surveillance devices like Thermal Imaging Device, Movement Radar, PTZ Camera, Quadcopter, etc.
The guard of the line of control never stops whatever the conditions– heavy snowfall, non-stop rains, or minus 20 temperatures.
An army officer said, “To thwart the infiltration attempt of terrorists, sensors have also been installed on the LoC fence so that if any movement is seen close to the AIOS, we get alerts. The feed of these sensors goes straight to a post control room.”
Apart from this, there are PTZ cameras which have a range of about 1 kilometer. But due to bad weather, these devices sometimes do not support properly, due to which the soldiers also do foot patrolling.
The officer added, “Soon counter-drone jammers will be installed for drone infiltrations so that we will be able to jam the remote signal of enemy drones whenever we see their movement.”
A jawan monitoring the LoC said that they are always alert and ready to face any challenge. “This is our duty, we have taken an oath to guard our country against enemies and we will do it at the cost of our lives.”
The challenge is not only terrorists’ infiltration but being Machial is also considered one of the most avalanche-prone areas of Kashmir. To tackle that the Army has specially brought new technology to protect the posts from natural calamities and to be in constant touch with other posts during heavy snowfall.
An army official said that in places where there is a high risk of avalanche, iron poles in the shape of ‘arrowhead’ are installed in the area above the posts so that if ever avalanche occurs it diverts the avalanche and post remain safe. A rope is connected from one accessible post to another inaccessible post so that ration supply and arms and ammunition can go through that rope.” It is pertaining to mention that if infiltration in the Machil sector is almost impossible, the credit goes to these brave soldiers of the Indian Army, whose only priority is honour of the Tricolour.