January 2001 News

Infiltration up after truce

15 January 2001
The Hindustan Times
Arun Joshi

Jammu: INFILTRATION OF armed militants from Pakistan into Jammu and Kashmir has gone up this winter, with almost 70 to 80 of them crossing the border every month. According to the reports available with the security agencies, in the past 45 days alone, nearly 150 militants most of them foreign mercenaries managed to sneak into the border state. More than 3,000 militants are reportedly waiting for a chance to cross the border, the reports said.Earlier, the Line of Control (LoC) had been the favourite route into India, but now the militants are using the international border for the purpose. Northern Command chief Lt. Gen. H. M. Khanna confirmed that infiltration figures had gone up and the international border was being used to enter into India. 'We cannot sit on every inch of the border and prevent infiltration. This is a porous border with treacherous terrain and stopping infiltration altogether is very difficult,' he said. The Army had set up a very strong counter-infiltration grid, he said. As of now operations against militants stand suspended in the wake of unilateral ceasefire announced by the Prime Minister. 'Even if we assume that the level of the infiltration is low, we need to address the fact that there are no operations against militants in the hinterland,' a senior security official said. With increased infiltration, militant activities are on the rise. While more than 60 security personnel and nearly 150 civilians fell victim to militancy, only 50 militants have been killed after the ceasefire came into effect. The frequent attacks on security camps, blasts and shootouts are causing concern among security forces.


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