For army snipers donning the camouflaged battle-gear, “Dushmun Sikaar, Hum Sikaari” is the “duty mantra” as they guard the highly sensitive Line of Control (LoC).
Ply boards with “Dushman Sikaar, Hum Sikari” written on them dot the pine tree tops on the foot-tracks of patrolling parties and border woods along LoC.
LoC snipers and soldiers, whose morale has gone further up post surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads in PoK, are out to give befitting reply to any ceasefire violation by Pakistan and foil infiltration attempts of terrorists and Border Action Teams (BATs).
Pointing towards a ply-card motto nailed to a pine tree on foot-patrolling track along three-tier fence, Sniper Ram Singh (name changed) said, “The enemy sitting across the Lakshman Rekha (LoC) is my prey and I am his hunter. We work as per this motto for those daring to cross this Lakshman Rekha.”
Singh, along with other snipers, are highly trained and target hitting soldiers meant to hit specific enemies daring to breach LoC.
Like snipers, the motto is no different for jawans and officers monitoring the forward post and undertake foot patrolling along LoC amid electronic surveillance put to guard the Indo-Pak border in Noushera sector of Rajouri district, which falls opposite to the Bhimbher district of PoK, where the heavily armed special forces in pre-dawn surgical strike hit at terror launch pads last month.
Noushera sector with thick coniferous woods, deep valleys, rock-cut mountains is now a target of the Pakistan Armed troops post surgical strike defeat.
The Noushera sector was once biggest infiltration area as there were huge launching pads and terrorist training camps in Bhimbher-Samahni-Nikyal belt across LoC.
“We are most vigilant along LoC. We cannot even for a moment keep LoC out of the manual and electronic sight. We cannot trust Pakistani troops. They are insulted following surgical strike,” said another soldier at the forward post.
Showcasing the electronic surveillance of the LoC, the company commander said that “we are keep a hawk-eye on LoC and forward past posts and sensitive gaps on the border”.
“Even movement of a cat is watched now through electronic gadgets. We cannot afford to give a chance to them (enemies),” the officer said.
Rocky mountain clips, dense forest lines and deep rock-cut valleys along the borderline are manned round-the-clock manually and electronically.
“Apart from continuous observation from forward posts, electronic observation rooms, there is manual patrolling and three-tier lit-up fencing to guard against infiltration and cross LoC raids,” the officer said.
Amid hostile weather conditions, the soldiers guard the border posts and vow to safeguard the territorial boundaries at the cost of their lives.
Undeterred by continuous mortar shell blasts and rattle of heavy machine guns at their posts last week, jawans brave bad weather and inhospitable terrain to keep a strict vigil on the LoC in Poonch.
“Even during recent heavily shelling and firing, we kept hawk’s eye vigilance on LoC to foil any design of infiltration or any such attack,” the officer said.
The situation in Poonch-Rajouri sector has deteriorated in the past week following the surgical strike. Repeated ceasefire violations, firing on forward posts and sniper-firings have forced jawans, officers and commanding officers to remain on their toes along the 225-km LoC.
“Defences at LoC are well prepared. Jawans are well motivated and morale is high. Our troops are prepared for 24X7 for any eventuality along the LoC,” the officer said.
There is a foolproof security mechanism in place and anti-infiltration measures have also been activated to foil infiltration bids by militants or any kind of BAT attack, he said.
Since the surgical strikes, there have been over 26 ceasefire violations from Pakistan along the LoC in which four soldiers and five civilians suffered injuries and 11 shops were gutted.