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Spain-Morocco border photo in MHA report on border lighting

LiveMint logoLiveMint 14-06-2017 Shaswati Das

New Delhi: The Union home ministry in its 2016-17 annual report released on Wednesday has published an image of the Spain-Morocco border to illustrate floodlighting done along India’s borders in Jammu and Kashmir.

Captioned “floodlighting along the border”, the picture showing a stretch along the Spain-Morocco border, has actually been taken from photo aggregator Pinterest.

Despite repeated attempts to get a clarification on the matter, the home ministry declined to comment.

Defence experts said such errors were best avoided.

“This is a human error. But they need to be more careful about this in future,” said Gurmeet Kanwal, a defence expert at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

Floodlighting has been one of the major issues that have been discussed in the recent past as a weak point in India’s monitoring systems along the border—a factor that aids cross-border infiltration.

The common thread linking recent terrorist attacks at Pathankot, Uri and Nagrota was the lack of lighting in the forest areas along the India-Pakistan border, allowing infiltrators to enter Indian territory. While the terrain in these regions is inhospitable, the militants found natural cover in the darkness, security forces said.

“The terrain is so difficult that it is impossible to have complete border fencing and complete flood-lighting. Also, electricity supply is also an issue which hinders lighting,” said a senior army official on condition of anonymity.

The MHA’s annual report has stated that the ministry has sanctioned 2,043.76km of floodlighting along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat in a bid to curb infiltration. The report also states that restoration work on damaged floodlights is being carried out.

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