The Centre on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that cross-border infiltration has reduced by 43% in the first half of this year compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai was responding to Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ramesh Chander Kaushik’s questions. Kaushik had asked if cross-order infiltration had abated after the surgical strike and whether the government had completed work on barbed wire fencing along borders.

On September 29, 2016, the Indian Army claimed to have carried out “surgical strikes on terror launchpads” across the Line of Control to neutralise alleged infiltrators the previous night. Again in February 2019, the Indian Air Force carried out airstrikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Balakot, Pakistan. However, it is not clear which of these attacks MP Kaushik meant when he said surgical strike.

Rai said the government had adopted a “policy of zero tolerance” towards cross-border infiltration. “Due to concerted and synergised efforts of security forces, the security situation in the state has witnessed an improvement in the first half of this year over the corresponding period of 2018,” Rai told members of the Lower House.

Rai said the central government with the state government had adopted a “multi-pronged approach” to contain cross-border infiltration. This included a “multi-tiered deployment” along the international border or Line of Control, border fencing, improved intelligence and operational coordination, equipping security forces with improved technological weapons and taking pro-active action against infiltrators.

The government said work on fencing along borders was slated to be completed by March 2020.