September 2001 News

Army busts secret bunkers

8 September 2001
The Statesman
KAVITA SURI

Jammu: The discovery of luxurious, two-storeyed concrete bunkers in the higher reaches of the Pir Panjal ranges have solved the mystery of why militants have stopped coming to the hinterland during deep winter. These spacious hideouts fitted with modern toilets and a huge stock of rations prove that creature comforts haven’t been neglected in the decade-long “Jehad” launched by Pakistani based militants in Jammu and Kashmir. “Wooden panelled hideouts which could keep them safe in sub-zero temperatures on the Pir Panjal mountain ranges, with rations to last for more than six months, cemented double storey structures with proper toilets were some of the types of the hideouts which we came across,” said an army officer who served in the higher reaches of Doda district. Many such hideouts were busted and tons of rations seized from there were burnt. Recently, the security forces smashed some fortified bunkers in Surankote and other areas which were hideouts to store weapons and other essentials. Confirming this, Lieutenant General JBS Yadava, Corps Commander, 16 Corps, said they had busted a concrete hideout with toilets and other facilities in Surankote area. “We have information that such bunkers have been constructed in the higher mountain reaches,” he said and added that the militants use people to carry cement and iron and rations to such places. “On Monday we busted such a bunker at Prithpal in Peer Kalewa in Poonch Jammu region which was being used by the militants as a training centre,” he said. They have destroyed some of the bunkers and there are reports that a few more such bunkers are still there.

 

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