Trigger-happy Kashmir militants beef up arsenal
5 June 2000
The Indian Express
Jammu: Kalashnikovs seem to be a thing of the past. Besides AK-47 and 56 rifles, militants are adding sophisticated weapons such as anti-aircraft guns and Chinese-made recoilless guns to their arsenal in their fight against the armed forces. The recent recovery of the dumps in Lassana, Dodasanwala and Kotli Kalaban area in Rajouri and other mountainous terrains of Poonch go to show that Pakistan wants to keep militancy alive. ''By busting huge dumps, we have foiled the militants'' designs. Otherwise, they would have created havoc in the area, making things difficult for the security forces,'' says R.V. Raju, Inspector General of Police, Jammu Range. An important recovery is that of anti-aircraft machine gun Type-77. This Chinese-made gun has a caliber of 12.7 mm and can shoot down a chopper from a height of 1,600 metres. Besides, it is the first time in the last one decade of militancy that a joint operation team of the BSF and Army have seized two Chinese-made recoilless guns from Surankot and Dodasanwala. The gun is capable of destroying bridges and buildings and can even target aircraft and Army vehicles from a distance of four to six kilometers. ''The recovery of this gun shows that the militants are infiltrating here to fight a pitched battle rather than go for small arms to make their presence felt,'' said U.C. Chabbra, Inspector General, BSF, Jammu Range, while inspecting the gun recently. Another sophisticated weapon in the possession of the militants is the 60-mm Al-Jaleel Light Mortar which can shoot down an object with accuracy from a distance of two-and-half km. Commenting on the new weaponry, an Army officer says by 1987, when the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, the ISI had got good experience in guerrilla warfare and sabotage while working along the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). ''And now they are using same tactics here in the state,'' he adds. The other new strategy which Pakistan has reportedly adopted during the past one month in Kashmir Valley is to target ruling party ministers and other political leaders. Instead of using indigenous Improvised Explosive devises, they are now seen to be using anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. New arms * RPD Light Machine Gun, origin: US, caliber: 7.62 mm, range: 1000 metres * General Purpose Machine Gun, origin: US, caliber: 762 mm, range: 1500 m * Luger Machine Gun, origin: Germany, caliber: 9 mm, range: 75 m * 7.63 MM Rifle, origin: Pakistan, caliber: 7.63 mm. * Bren Machine Gun, origin; UK, caliber: 7.62 mm, range: 1500 m * G-15 Grenade Launcher, caliber: 40 MM, range: 420 m * Rocket launcher: Origin China, caliber: 107 MM, range: 3,000 m * Faggot Missile Launcher, origin: UK, caliber: 120 MM, range: 2,500 m * Type 63-1 mortar, origin: China, caliber: 60.75 MM, range, 1,550 metre. * Simonov Self Loading Rifle, origin: Russia, caliber: 7.62 mm, range: 400m * Sniper Rifle Dragunov, origin: Russia, caliber: 7.62 mm, range: 1,200 m * M-72 Light anti-armour weapon, origin: US, caliber: 66 mm, range: 220 m Ammunition since Dec 1999 * AK 47- 23671 * UMG -1079 * Sniper Rifle-798 * Sten Gun-37 * Pistol-5889 * SB-DB Gun-897 * Anti Personnel Mines-6442 * Anti Tank Mines 554 * Hand Grenades-45547 * Explosive-11, 865 * Ammunition- 369,3129.