India On Alert Against 'infiltration'
16 October 2005
New Delhi: Indian troops are on heightened alert to prevent militants from taking advantage of the chaos in quake-shattered Kashmir and crossing the Line of Control in the divided territory. 'We have stepped up guard at the Line of Control and nearly 25 militants were killed during infiltration bids in the last 10 days,' General JJ Singh was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying on Sunday. He said troops engaged in relief work in earthquake-devastated areas were keeping an eye out for militants trying to sneak into Occupied Kashmir. 'Militants have made about five infiltration attempts since the October 8 earthquake, including two on a single day,' Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi. 'Some of them wanted to take advantage of the disturbed situation.' The defence minister said the presence of civilians among the troops for rescue and relief work could help the militants to cross the de facto border. Mukherjee said the next five to seven days could see more crossing attempts, after which infiltration would become difficult due to winter snowfall. blocking mountain passes. The defence minister said India was also trying to verify reports that several militant hideouts in Azad Kashmir had been destroyed in the quake.