Pakistan forces may have adopted a new strategy to attack Indian forces going by the security agencies' report. According to the security agencies, Pakistani personnel wore 'thermal camouflage suits' to avoid detection by Indian night vision devices and killed a BSF jawan along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.
Twenty-eight year old Constable Sitaram Yadav of the 192nd battalion of the Border Security Force (BSF) was shot with a precise close-range aim by either a militant or Special Service Group (SSG) trooper from the Pakistani side at about 1:30 am on May 18, the agencies told PTI. The battalion mans a forward post along the IB in the RS Pora region.
The "disturbing" first-time instance has rattled the top commanders responsible for ensuring security at the Indo-Pak IB and the un-fenced Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, official sources told PTI quoting an electronic surveillance report.
The official sources said that Yadav was immediately evacuated by two other BSF men present in the nearby post but he later succumbed to his bullet wound in his left eye.
A scrutiny of the local hand-held thermal imager (HHTI) showed that a very-grained black shadow like movement takes place on the monitor and it comes very close to the BSF post and fires a shot, that is suspected to have hit the jawan leading to his killing, they said.
However, the HHTI, deployed in the border areas for night vision and surveillance, could not clearly pick the black shadow of an approaching man as he might be wearing a 'thermal camouflage suit' that insulates the body heat of a person, they said.
HHTI picks up the body heat signatures of a living being -- a human or an animal -- and creates a silhouette that helps the BSF and the Army to check infiltration bids and attacks on their posts in the dead of the night.
"The electronic surveillance of the incident is being analysed and nothing can be ruled out. It could be a new camouflage overall that the Pakistani side is using to take a close aim and hit Indian troops at the border or it could also be an indigenous way of wearing a wet-sack like clothing to evade the HHTI radar," a senior officer in the security establishment said.
The officer said that this "menacing stealth operation"-- carried out either by militants, the SSG or Pak regulars -- is a worrying development and is being investigated thoroughly. There are such thermal camouflage or insulation suits available across the globe that are used for such tactical and surprise attacks on the enemy and before anything is conclusively said, all aspects of this latest development have to be studied as it concerns border security, the officer added.
(With inputs from PTI)