The chief of Border Security Force (BSF) KK Sharma said on Wednesday it is difficult to stop suicide attacks in Jammu and Kashmir as the militants come “wearing shrouds” and the only way to deal with them was the troops’ alertness, a day after the paramilitary force’s camp was infiltrated near the Srinagar airport.
“The fidayeen are determined. We can’t stop their attacks. They will always manage to come but it is the response which is important,” Sharma said after participating in the wreath-laying ceremony for assistant sub-inspector of BSF BK Yadav in Humhama.
Yadav died fighting one of the three militants who entered the highly fortified 182 battalion camp near the Srinagar airport early on Tuesday. All the three were killed after a gunfight that lasted hours.
Three others security personnel also sustained injuries in the early morning attack, claimed by the Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) which is blamed for similar strikes at Indian security bases including one at Uri in September last year that killed 18 soldiers.
The paramilitary force’s chief without naming Pakistan said such attacks would continue until people across the border don’t stop. “So long our friendly neighbour does not behave, I think we will expect we will have many more (such attacks),” he said.
Sharma said that the response of BSF was “highly professional” and the moment the militants entered they were “spotted and challenged, and were neutralised” without causing any collateral damage or “much harm” to the paramilitary force.
“You are aware of the number of fidayeen attacks which have taken place in the past and the damage which was caused by them and in comparison, the BSF has acquitted itself very well. And I am proud of the boys,” he said.
Sharma said that two of the three militants were wearing Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) battle uniform and the third was wearing a Pathan suit.
“We think that the fidayeen were targeting the weapons of the quarter guard but an alert quarter guard detected the terrorists and he challenged them,” he said.
Sharma said, “this timely detection” prevented a major catastrophe. He said the three militants dispersed and one went towards the canteen where he was immediately killed. Of the other two, one entered the Subordinate Officers Mess and another barged into the administrative block.
“In the mess, the terrorists entered the room of BK Yadav, who despite fighting bravely was hit by a bullet in the head and achieved martyrdom,” Sharma said.
The one in the administrative block was forced to come out and neutralised with the help of CRPF and police, he added.
BJP leader and deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh said that such attacks were “proxy war” and state and central governments were fighting this “demon”.
“We will foil these designs and I salute the forces and common people reeling under militancy,” he said.