May 1999 News

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Intelligence agencies had sounded Army, BSF officials

16 May 1999
Daily Excelsior

JAMMU, May 16: The Intelligence agencies had sounded "well in advance" the Army and security forces about "enmasse infiltration attempt" by Pakistan-backed terrorist in Kargil and other areas of the State.

Interrogation of some local militants affiliated with the pro-Pakistani outfits had given certain indications of Pak intentions of pushing in armed ultras in large numbers into Jammu and Kashmir.

Depending on these inputs, sufficient steps were initiated to scotch the infiltration routes which could possibly be used for percolation by Pakistan Army and its sponsored militants.

During October, 1998, Border Security Force (BSF) official had apprehended a local militant from the insurgency - plagued Romeo sector. While refusing to divulge his identity, sources said that he was resident of Bandipora area of Baramulla district.

During interrogation, the local militant spilled the beans about the Pak gameplan to force large-scale intrusion in Kashmir in the near future. It was a three-fold conspiracy hatched by one Colonel Moosa, stationed in Muzaffarabad with the top ranking leadership of ISI. The entire plan was worked out after days of deliberations and special commando training was organised by Pakistan Army for all participants.

He revealed that a heavily armed posse of 100 - 200 militants, comprising trained commandos was slated to make intrusion somewhere in March or April. The first phase of the plan was to block the movement on Kargil-Leh road so that it is cut from the rest of country and thereby, refrain the authorities from stocking material imperative for people of the cold desert. The second phase was the disruption of Srinagar - Kargil meant for the isolation of other areas including Gurez.

Simultaneously, the Pakistani guns stationed along the Line of Control (LoC) would continue to blaze with heavy artillery, thereby provide support to the armed ultras, by firing heavy artillery. The target would be important security installations and even public to inculcate a sense of panic among them.

The third phase of the ‘well-thought’ operation was to disrupt the normal movement at the all important Jammu - Srinagar National Highway so as to cut-off Valley from the rest of state.

The Bandipora based militant had been assigned the job by the Pakistani intelligence agency — Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to do reconnaissance of the National Highway (NH)1A from Jammu - Akhnoor.

It was meant to a comprehensive survey, which was to include the details of bridges and the terrain involved. It also ought to comprise the strength of troops deployed on these structures and other bridges, which have been left unguarded.

Besides, the job also covered the locations of important Government installations located in the vicinity of the National Highway. Other accomplices of the local ultra, who was also apprehended in other operations by security forces from Bandipora also corroborated the intelligence feedback.

The issue was also discussed at a meeting of the senior intelligence officials of Army and Border Security Force (BSF). The information divulged by the local militant was also corroborated later by some other militants operating in areas of Baramulla district.

Subsequently, Army initiated a number of precautions apprehending the greatest anti-insurgency operation of the decade old militancy and the strength of troops guarding the frontier areas was also upgraded during the past some time.

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