The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has recently taken over the security of contentious Kishanganga hydroelectric project at the LoC, the highest point the force has ever been deployed.
A battalion of hardened soldiers of CISF were trained in counter insurgency by the Indian Army for over 70 days before their deployment at National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), a project to which Pakistan has previously objected to.
The main deployment of the force is around a radius of 10 kilometers in Bandipora which includes area of Gurez Valley and Razdan pass, the latter will be cut off for almost six months due to heavy snowfall. The force has already sent ration for its forces. But for the current year, they will depend on Army for any additional support and contingency.
Not just long drawn winter, the project is barely a kilometre away from LOC, has high threat perception from Pakistan based terror groups, the latest Multi Agency Centre (MAC) inputs accessed by India Today only confirming India’s worst fears, indicated heavy movement of terrorist in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). Director General (DG) CISF OP Singh was optimistic about performance of his men in tackling any eventuality.
Speaking to India Today, Singh said “We have deployed trained soldiers at the NHPC project. Our men are battle ready. They have latest gadgets and weaponry to deal with any untoward incident like a terror attack. For us the new challenge is the height of 12,000 feet. But I have faith in our personnel.”
Against a total sanctioned strength of 414 personnel, 276 personnel headed by a commandant have so far been deployed at the 330 MW Kishanganga project. The survey to provide security was carried out by CISF, intelligence bureau (IB) and representatives of the NHPC three months ago to assess CISF commando deployment.
This is CISF’s third deployment in Kashmir Valley. After being deployed at two power plants in Uri, CISF has been roped in for protection of another crucial hydel power plant.
Under construction since 2007, the controversial project has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. The latter has alleged that construction of a dam on Kishanganga, a tributary of Jhelum, will impact water flow on its side.
Crying foul, Pakistan went to the International Court of Arbitration at the Hague in 2013 but the court ruled in India’s favour stating it has a right to build the dam and divert water from Kishanganga. The project is aimed to be completed by 2018.
By: India Today
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