The Times of India
22 Dec 2008, 0302 hrs IST, Vimal Bhatia, TNN
JAISALMER: Even as India refused to take the military option off the table while asking Pakistan to rein in the terrorists, the Indian Army’s and
IAF’s quick reaction teams (QRTs) were deployed along the borders in the Western Sector.
QRTs are also keeping a close watch on air space with the help of additional defence equipment. Security in and around defence air strips has been tightened.
These measures were taken following reports that Pakistan has deployed its forces along its border. IAF sources said security around places of strategic importance has been stepped up. They said more radars and QRTs have been deployed along the India-Pakistan border.
IAF had initiated these measures to strengthen its air defence to face any eventuality at a short notice. Additional hangars and runways have been prepared and all the radars have been put on high alert. Sources said tight radar surveillance is being maintained to keep a watch on any suspected movements along the border.
Air commandos have been deployed to ward off any possible retaliatory attack, they said, adding the entire border and its adjoining areas have been sanitised and the security situation reviewed. The commandos have also been deployed at borders (mainly at air-strips) in Jaisalmer, Uttarlai (Barmer) and Bhuj (Gujarat).
“Runways, hangars, main roads, ammunition stores and other sensitive places have been provided with additional cover. Sophisticated radars are installed at a few air bases and we are keeping watch on each and every cross-border activity,” said an IAF personnel.
“Entry of unauthorised persons in defence areas has been prohibited and people’s movement in the surrounding areas is being watched,” he said.
Confirming extra deployment of Pakistan Rangers, DID, Rajasthan Frontier of BSF R C Sayani said, “We have inputs about Pakisan army officers frequently visiting the border areas.”
Indian forces were on regular firing exercises at locations like Lathi Firing Range in Jaisalmer, Mahsan in Bikaner, Suratgarh and Ganganagar.