Intelligence inputs ignored with fatal fallout on LoC - The New Indian Express

Intelligence inputs ignored with fatal fallout on LoC

Published: 11th Aug 2013 08:28:07 AM

In the din over the government’s flip flop over the Pakistani Army killing five Indian soldiers last week was lost the fact that the Indian Army had ignored Intelligence warnings and patrolling protocols as the jawans ventured out to guard the five-km stretch of the 778-km Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. An initial Army probe has discovered that Intelligence agencies recently intercepted important conversations suggesting the BAT (Border Action Team) units of the Pakistani Army’s border battalions would carry out attacks on Indian security forces, which was shared with the Indian Army in July, sources said. The commanding officers—21 Bihar battalion Commanding Officer Col C S Kabsuri, under whose command the patrol team operated; 91 Infantry Brigade commander Brigadier S K Acharya, who is Kabsuri’s immediate boss and Acharya’s boss and 25 Infantry Division commander Major General V P Singh—are in the  gunsights of a Court of Inquiry probing the incident. So is the Nagrota-based 16 Corps commander Lt Gen B S Hooda who commanded these officers.

“The Court of Inquiry will go into how the team prepared to go about their patrol, the sequence of events leading to the ambush, and what Indian forces did after the attack,” a senior Indian Army officer said. “Initial information shows that there were gaps in the manner the patrol team and their commanders followed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs),” said an Army source. He said the unfortunate team was not expecting an attack and was not careful enough to look out for the intruders. The Pakistani specialist troops operation had resulted in the death of five of the six soldiers, while the sixth, Sepoy Shambhaji Kute was injured. He is the only eyewitness from the Indian side and at present, and is recuperating at a military hospital in Jammu region.

Intelligence sources said that last week’s attack was planned 15 days in advance. The Indian patrol team’s movement from Begum to Cheetah posts and their state of alertness were monitored for several days before the actual operation using the cover of darkness was executed on Tuesday.

“Apart from technical interception, there were telltale signs of cigarette butts and tea packs in the area, suggesting the aggressive movement of ISI spotters close to the border regions. Our forces were warned to remain vigilant,” a source said. However, those warnings seemed to have been largely ignored. The patrol team and its commanders are being faulted for “not expecting the worst” from the Pakistani side, despite intelligence agencies cautioning them of an attack along the LoC. They were also warned about ceasefire violations by Pakistani regulars to provide cover for terror infiltrations, which has increased by 80 per cent this year than last year.

After Army Chief Bikram Singh’s visit to the LoC following the killings, a Court of Inquiry under a Brigadier has been instituted to list flaws and gaps in the SOPs issued to all border-guarding Army units and to suggest remedies to ensure the troopers follow them in letter and spirit,General Singh rushed to Nagrota first near Jammu and then to Akhnoor, about 30-km away from the LoC, to meet with the officers in charge on August 7. They gave a presentation to explain the sequence of events as happened at the border. The meeting took place at a military station in Akhnoor, after General Singh’s attempt to reach the Brigade headquarters at Poonch failed due to bad weather.

 

The Sunday Standard

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Comments(5)

How long a soldier remain vigilant on LOC during his duty. It is not possible to be alert at all times for some one. We need to have understand the typical area, its weather, own operational capabilities and the human psychology, modus operandi of pakistan the most crucial part is planning ahead keeping in view of the prospective arrangement made for infiltration by Pak along LOC. Use of offensive mode of operation will defenitely derail Pak's ambition of infiltration.. Once we become defensive, things started deteriorating at its own and the result you all have seen.

With all due respect - this isn't a case of mere momentary lapse in concentration. This is about a systematic failure on numerous levels - the failure to anticipate an ambush in such a exposed position, the lack of appropriate equipment like Bullet Proof vests/NVGs etc, not following SOPs , failure in the command to promptly and accurately respond to this incident among many others. These soldiers are Indian citizens first and foremost and if the negligence, incompetence or indeed apathy of those commanding them resulted in their deaths then the Indian Army is doing every single man in their ranks and the nation at large a big service in rooting out the problems and disciplining its officers. Trying to cover up the facts, excuse incompetence and apathy by senior officers while lower level jawans die needlessly is not doing the Army, the families of these jawans or the nation any justice. Prompt punitive action and an honest account of failures now will potentially save the lives of

Every Army "needs" soldiers whose attention span has to be longer and more focused!Commandos have it aplenty! In the unfortunate scenario that led to the demise of 5 Indian soldiers,it was a face-off between Pak's commandos and Indian"regulars" on patrol. Let's face it,it was a victory for them!My Uncle who retired as a MAJOR in the army and took part in the Indo-Pak war,which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh,used to belittle the Pak. soldiers commitment,capability and confidence!Those days have long gone!Kargil conflict,took us by " total surprise" ( a monumental failure on our part) and regaining the lost ground was trumpeted by the political class and the media as a "victory"!Kargil SHOULD have served as a stark reminder that the Pak. forces have smartened up (sorry for the CAPS)! It's time for a reality check for saint Anthony!They behead our soldier's head and we just protest!They ambush our soldiers,yet we want diplomacy! Feel for the soldiers thirsting for blood.Hit back!

Retired Col. is absolutely Right, Poor Desk-Top General and In-experience Politician Does not Know that "Attack is the best part of Defence". They should learn from America and Isreal how to fight, or atleast learn from Maratha King Shivaji and it war fighting techique and style. Instead of Having big Mugal army with colourful dress on 26th january dance have strong well trained and technologically aggressive arm forces.

The fence should be electrically and electronically connected to alert the bombproof headquarters built at regular intervals along the border. When the electronic circuit is breached, automatic firing system should be at place to fire bullets or mini bombs at the point of breach and surrounding area so that the person who has breached the circuit must or may not survive. The UAV must be sent to survey the area with night vision capability. Also CCTV cameras with night vision capability must be installed covering continuously the whole border fence round the clock so that prompt action be taken to pursue the terrorists and kill them with help of UAV where ever they go including Pakistani side of the border. No intelligence should be spared to tackle this problem of border issue. Normal teams of troops can be sent for manual inspection after the whole area has clearly surveyed by CCTV cameras and UAV. Normal troops be equipped with sensors to alert against human presence nearby in area.

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