Interstate security review: Senior BSF, police officials meet in Kathua

JAMMU — Senior BSF and police officials gathered at a high-level interstate security review meeting in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua on Thursday, days after militants, who are believed to have infiltrated from across the International Border, ambushed an army patrol.

Five army personnel, including a Junior Commissioned Officer, were killed and as many injured when militants opened fire on two army vehicles on the Machedi-Kindli-Malhar mountain road near Badnota village, about 150 km from the district headquarters of Kathua, on Monday.

The meeting was attended by Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police R R Swain, his Punjab counterpart Gaurav Yadav and Special Director General of BSF, Western Command, Y B Khurania, among others, to review the security grid along the International Border and plug any loopholes, officials said.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), J&K, Vijay Kumar, ADG (Law and Order), Punjab, Arpit Shukla and Inspector General-rank BSF officers of Punjab and Jammu were also present at the meeting, they said.

The officials said the militants are believed to have successfully infiltrated through the International Border and managed to reach the dense forests of Machedi that connects Basantgarh in Udhampur and Bhaderwah in Doda district.

The militants have also used the route in the past when militancy was at its peak in the area over two decades ago. The area was cleared of militant presence but the revival of militant activities has led to serious security concerns.

More than 50 people have so far been detained for questioning as a massive manhunt for the militants entered the fourth day on Thursday. — (PTI)