SRINAGAR: Giving a boost to the anti-terror campaign, the Indian Army has brought women into action for the first time in its history.
They have also got canine 'soldiers' in service.
A senior Army officer deployed in Kashmir said, “The anti-narcotics grid has been strengthened with women soldiers, narco dogs and X-ray machines."
He added that if someone can bring narcotics, tomorrow they can also bring fake currency and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).
The officer told that earlier they were not able to take any action against women even after having confirmed inputs of women couriers but with the deployment of women soldiers, such inputs will prove useful.
Also, the women soldiers are inspiring the other women in the area.
Riflewoman Nitu Kumar from Bihar said, “Women are more free to share their issues and their children are inspired to see us in uniform.”
These soldiers are braced for harsh winters at 10,000 feet at the Sadhna Pass which is the only connection to the bowl of Tangdhar.
Riflewoman H Wanjen Konyek said, “We faced the challenge of being the first to be deployed in this area and will face the challenege of the weather as its getting cold with each passing day."
Konyek, from Nagaland, is the senior most among the woman soldiers.
The narco smuggling has been an important route through which militants are finance. This is also how the Over Ground Workers (OGWs) extend logistics and intellectual support to the militants.
The result of the recent series of measures have started to show with close to 80 Kgs of narcotics, mostly Brown Sugar getting seized in Tangdhar sector alone this year another officer deployed near the LoC said.
Last year too, nearly similar quantity -- 80kgs -- of narcotics was seized.
Another area of concern are the villages which are located ahead of the Line of control.
“We cannot overlook the possibilities of people in these villages working as courier," the officer said, as the aim is to plug every possibility of terror financing being done by Pakistan,
There are several villages which are ahead of the border fence and in Tangdhar sector alone there are 12 such villages.
Other than the population in these villages the gaps created due to the Naalas and deeper valleys where erecting fence is difficult provides chances to smuggle the narcotics.
Army has also deployed four trained sniffer dogs in the Tangdhar Brigade under the Assam Rifles and Border Security Force (BSF).
At the Sadhna pass, X-ray machines have been installed which have made screening of baggage easy and swift.
The officers said that once the narcotic substances cross the LoC, their cost keeps rising multiple times by the time they reach the rest of the places -- mostly the metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangaluru and this money is used to keep the terror machinery functioning, the first officer added.
While the Army has tightened the deployment to stop the entry of trained militants at the 343 kilometers long Line of Control under the area of the important 15 Corps of the Indian Army, it has been employing multiple ways to pin down the militants.
Lt Gen BS Raju while speaking with a select group of journalists said, “The aim is to foreclose every route which strengthens the militants beginning with stopping their entry across the LoC, weapons smuggling, finances and support on ground.”