In an interview to The Daily Guardian, the Border Security Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police Director General S.S. Deswal explains the twin challenges the two forces face in the times of Covid-19 and how apart from trying to sneak in terrorists, Pakistan is also trying to get corona-positive people into India.
Q: What are the big challenges for the BSF in the time of Covid-19?
A: The security of the border is the responsibility of our force and as far as the security of the International Border is concerned, the BSF is deployed with full vigour and is fully prepared to thwart any enemy action. Looking at the infiltration from across the border, it is time to be alert and border vigilance is necessary and our security forces are working in coordination with all security agencies.
Q: Our neighbour is constantly trying to infiltrate and intelligence agencies have inputs that more than 300 terrorists are ready on the launching pad to infiltrate the Indian border.
A: See, the efforts of the neighbouring country are continuous, it is known to the whole world that they constantly try to harm India, do all kinds of activity, try to infiltrate into the Indian border but our security forces are fully prepared and there is coordination between all security agencies. We are aware of the cross-border movement in every way and every time that they try in any manner, our agency will continue to thwart it back.
Q: What about the huge gathering of terrorists in Leap Valley, Athamuqam and Dudhniyal?
A: BSF is ready to deal with any challenge, we have full information about their movement and we have previously ended their movement across the border and we will do so further.
Q: While the whole world is fighting a battle against corona, Pakistan is still trying to infiltrate the Indian border. What do you have to say about that?
A: In Pakistan, terrorists are sheltered and conspiracy is continuously hatched against India. Terrorism in Pakistan is statesponsored. The army and ISI of Pakistan support it. Our security agencies are alert on the border. They have information from all agencies and will fail all their efforts. They are 24×7 ready for any perpetration.
Q: Intelligence agencies have information that Pakistani agencies are trying to infiltrate corona-infected people into the Indian side. Is this true?
A: Our intelligence agencies are aware of this and all our arrangements are there, we will not be allowing any such efforts to succeed. We continuously review security and we deploy security forces as and where needed.
Q: Now, as the snow begins to melt, there is information that the terrorists are preparing to infiltrate the Indian border.
A: Our forces are aware of this at the commencement of every summer. When the snow starts melting, many paths are opened but we block every path and thwart every attempt. We have full information and better coordination between our security agencies and we thank the intelligence agencies that they give us all the information and we are taking action on it.
Q: You are also the DGP of ITBP. Five ITBP jawans are suffering from corona, what do you have to say on that?
A: All our campuses are following the protocols of Covid-19 in the entire country. Some of our companies are engaged in internal security for the local police, they are helping the local police in the lockdown. This company also worked in the areas which are Red Zones. Their treatment has been effective and they are encouraged. All the soldiers have been kept in quarantine during the lockdown. They are engaged in taking care of law and order. So, we are taking care of them after every visit, we sanitise them and tell them better about Covid-19. Life gear is available to them. We keep full vigil, we are trying to keep every young officer safe so that they can help the local police, if needed.