Army: 449 militants killed in June-July
2 August 2001
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: IN ITS effort to dominate militants in Jammu and Kashmir after the six-month ceasefire, the Indian Army has eliminated 449 militants in gun-battles during June-July 2001. This is the highest toll inflicted on militants, by the Army alone, in a two-month period in the past 11 years of the proxy war in the border state. The Ministry of Defence made this announcement while reacting to a report that militants used the ceasefire lull to reinforce their position and occupy parts of Poonch and Rajouri districts. The report in a vernacular daily had sought to draw a parallel with the Kargil occupation by Pakistani intruders. Describing this report as ''baseless, factually incorrect and misleading'', the Ministry of Defence press release stated that security forces had achieved ''an overall degree of dominance over terrorist groups in the past two months''. Referring to Rajouri and Poonch, the statement claimed that highly effective operations by security forces had militants on the run. ''This is also substantiated by repeated radio intercepts, indicating the low morale of the terrorists due to heavy casualties inflicted upon them,'' it stated. A total of 165 militants had been killed and 32 ''trans-Line of Control'' infiltration attempts foiled by the Army in the Poonch-Rajouri area over the last two months. The press release claimed an overall decline in the number of violent incidents perpetrated by militants in these two districts due to the domination of the security forces.