BSF IG Sonali Mishra to be first woman commander to head Punjab frontier formation

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New Delhi, Jul 13 (PTI) BSF Inspector General Sonali Mishra will be the first woman commander to head the force's formation along the India-Pakistan border in Punjab, which is prone to narcotics and arms smuggling.

Mishra, a 1993-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, will be the new inspector general (IG) of the Border Security Force's (BSF) Punjab frontier headquartered in Jalandhar, official sources said.

The officer, at present, is heading the BSF intelligence wing known as the 'G branch' at its headquarters here.

She has earlier headed the BSF formation in the Kashmir valley as the IG. There the paramilitary force guards the Line of Control (LoC) along Pakistan under the operational command of the Army.

Punjab shares a 553-km border with Pakistan and the front is prone to narcotics and arms smuggling. The BSF Punjab frontier was raised with the birth of the border guarding force on December 1, 1965.

It has multiple battalions guarding the area, which is marked by farms of Indian farmers beyond the border fence and the Attari-Wagah integrated check post at Amritsar.

The check post is popular for its daily public flag lowering ceremony conducted by BSF troops and their counterparts, the Pakistan Rangers.

The border areas under this frontier also witness illegal drone activity that take flight from across the border for reconnaissance missions and dropping of arms and drugs, similar to what is seen along the Jammu front.

The current IG of the Punjab frontier Mahipal Yadav will replace Mishra in Delhi, officials said.

The about 2.65-lakh personnel strong BSF guards a total of 6,300 kms of India's land border with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Out of this, the India-Pakistan IB is about 2,290 kms long and it runs from Jammu to Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat on the western flank of the country. PTI NES ANB ANB

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