Army not to lower guard, terror threat persists: GOC16 February 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Ranjit Gate (Pallanwalla): General Officer Commanding of Cross Swords Division (10 Div) Maj Gen K Majumdar today said that Army will not lower its guard all along the borders as there seems to be no de-escalation of terror threat from across and reduction in the infiltration attempts. While handing over 717 kanals (79 acres) of de-mined land to the Deputy Commissioner Jammu M K Dwivedi in presence of Dy Chief Minister Tara Chand and the Divisional Commissioner Dr Pawan Kotwal at LoC, about 60 kms from Jammu this afternoon, the GOC said there was no de-escalation in the terror threat from across the border as the attempts of infiltration by the armed terrorists continued from across the Line of Control and even through the International Border. In view of the threat perception and some spurt in such incidents in the past several months, the troops have been directed not to lower guard and continue strict vigil all along the borders. He said there have been very less such attempts of infiltration in Akhnoor Sub Division including Pallawan-Khour, Pargwal and upper reaches up to Sunderbani as terrorists hardly find their sympathisers in this belt. He said in this entire belt, majority of them are ex-servicemen and farmers who lead very tough life and are deadly against terrorists. Due to this reason terrorists do not find support and they either switch over to Rajouri, Poonch, Uri or Kupwara. When asked about the threat and easy access for the armed infiltrators after clearing of mine fields along 11 kms LoC belt in Pallanwalla, the GOC said de-mining activity has nothing to do with the infiltration. The apparatus needed to check intrusion from across was intact and fencing was there all along the LoC. Moreover, old mine fields created during 1971 and 65 were still at the front. This nearly 560 acre of land was mined during Kargil war in 1999 and some raised during Op Parakaram. Responding to a question, Maj Gen Majumdar said that mine fields along majority of the fields along International Borders in Kathua, Samba and parts of Jammu districts have already been cleared by the Army. The decision to retain the mines along LoC was taken by the top Defence authorities in view of strategic reasons. However, during the visit of Minister of State for Defence recently to Pallanwalla, the villagers of the area took up the issue with him and requested to clear their mine fields in the farward location across the fencing so that they could cultivate their fields. Following instructions from the Ministry of Defence, the work for clearing 13 mine fields covering nearly 11 kms of stretch was taken so that people- farmers from 21 border villages could be benefitted. The work started in the mid of October and it is expected to be completed before rainy season. He said Swiss made, Hydrema machine is being used to clear mines and is supported by specially designed tanks with guards and tractors. Dy Chief Minister while extending gratitude to the Army for clearing 79 acres of agriculture land of nearly 123 farmers of Samoa and Chapryal asked Army authorities to expedite the pace of work and clear the entire stretch by the end of June so that this exercise is over before rainy season. He said 'we are proud of our Army for fighting the terrorists and safeguarding the borders of the country.' Dy Chief Minister also lauded Army’s Sadbhavana programme for the development and welfare of various sections of the society. He at the same time stressed for the compensation to the farmers whose land remained under Army occupation in last 7-8 years beyond fencing and ahead of new mine fields and could not cultivate. The GOC handed over revenue documents of the cleared land to the DC Jammu M K Dwivedi on the spot in presence of DyCM, Divisional Commissioner, SDM and Tehsildar Akhnoor.