400 Militants Operating In Jammu Region: GOC
23 August 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Nearly 200 Pak trained militants managed to cross over to this side of the Line of Control in last six months while at least 400 militants including a large number of foreigners are operating in Jammu region. General Officer Commanding, 16 Corps of the Northern Army Command Lt Gen T K Sapru told the Excelsior that terrorist infrastructure still exist on that side of the Line of Control (LoC) and according to some intelligence inputs nearly 50 training camps are in operation on that side of the LoC including some Northern areas of PoK. Referring to the operation of militant organisations, Lt Gen Sapru said that several terrorist outfits are operating on this part of the region but Hizbul Mujahideen is the dominant cadre and nearly 390-400 ultras including locals are operating presently on this side. Responding to another question he disclosed that hardly in last six months about 200 militants managed to cross over to this side. It could be established on the basis of intelligence inputs, he maintained. 'There is no perceptible change in infiltration into this side from across the LoC in last few months. A more comprehensive picture could only emerge after analysis over a large time span is carried out,' the GOC added. Most of the LoC area has been fenced in Rajouri-Poonch and Jammu sectors of the region but there are certain gaps in the riverine areas and nallahs. But adequate number of troops are deployed and naka points established to plug them. In the recent past, especially in Mendhar and Poonch areas, armed ultras managed to breach the fence on certain occasions taking advantage of weather and hostile conditions. Responding to another question, Lt Gen Sapru said the foreign terrorists were little less than 50 percent compared to the locals operating on this side. There are no recent reports providing definite presence of any woman terrorists. When asked about the HR Violation cases and the Armymen punished so far, the Corps Commander said Army was extremely sensitive to any breach of discipline and Human Rights Violations and its track record in taking action against erring soldiers is exemplary. Over 89 persons have been punished for cases proved true against them in the State so far. Commenting on the rapid increase in the number of suicide cases by soldiers in the militancy hit State, the GOC claimed that number of such cases was lower in the Army as compared to national average. 'Our analysis indicates that issues faced at home including inaction by the civil authorities and problems faced by families of jawans are a major cause for stress and subsequent suicide. The Ministry of Defence has established Self- Development Centres where soldiers are trained for destressing and personality development,' he maintained. Giving detail of some civic action projects under Operation Sadbhavana, Lt Gen Sapru said that Army established 64 water supply schemes, about 100 electrification projects, constructed 16 large community halls, raised three new schools and provided assistance in terms of additional rooms and infrastructure to 548 schools in Jammu region in last two years. Besides, 1000 micro-hydel projects have been completed. Out of the total 350 have been constructed in Jammu region including 107 in Rajouri, 133 in Poonch and 62 in Doda.