Controversial Bunkers Spread Along Punjab Border

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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Amidst suspicion that Sikh militancy in Punjab might return to haunt the central government, security forces on both sides of the Indo-Pak border are making more bunkers.

Pakistan is said to have constructed 40 new ones on its side of Punjab in the past year and the Indians to have raised 30 more on their side.

“The security forces of Pakistan always lead the race and they make at least 15-20 per cent more bunkers than us,” said a senior official of the Border Security Force (BSF). The decision to increase the count of bunkers and strengthen the existing ones was taken after repeated rocket attacks of 107mm mortars were made from the Pak side in 2009. India shares a 553-km border with Pakistan in Punjab. Senior officials said forces along the western border have been directed to retaliate in case there is a ceasefire violation.

The intermittent rocket attacks that first started in July last year continued till December 2009. Apart from ceasefire violations, these attacks often resulted in long hours of continuous exchange of fire between the forces. “It’s a funny situation. We have raised this issue with our counterparts in Pakistan several times during our flag meetings but they say that neither the Pakistani army nor the Rangers were involved in these rocket attacks on India. The Rangers suspect that terrorists or criminals could be firing these rockets on India from their side of the border,” he added.

BSF sources, however, said it was hard to believe the Pak authorities were unaware of the attacks and who was responsible. “These attacks could not have happened without some sort of connivance of the security forces of Pakistan,” the officer added. Although there is minimal danger of any sort of unprovoked exchange of fire on either side escalating, in view of confidence-building measures.


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