Infiltration attempts to increase before snowfall: Army

Infiltration attempts to increase before snowfall: Army

28 September 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Army today said that around 600 militants are waiting across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) ready to infiltrate into Kashmir valley before the onset of winter. General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Kupwara based 28-Division of Army, Major General Lalit Pandey, while briefing the media at Kupwara this afternoon said that next few weeks are more crucial as militants will make more efforts to infiltrate into Kashmir valley before the snow fall closes the mountain passes. He said that Army is alert along the LoC to foil the militant designs. He said that Army this year foiled infiltration bids along the LoC and have killed some of the militants while others have fled back to the PoK. 'This has made militants desperate and they will make last ditch efforts to infiltrate in large numbers', he added. Major General Pandey said that the militants are using both LoC in Kashmir valley and neighbouring country, Nepal, as infiltration routes. The GOC said that it is the new trend of the militants to smuggle arms and ammunition into Kashmir and dump it near the LoC before transporting it to Kashmir valley. He described it as an alarming situation. The General while giving details of the arms recovery near the LoC in Keran sector said that yesterday Army noticed movement of 4-5 people near the LoC and when challenged they fled back to the PoK. Later after the search of the area, Army recovered 6 gunny bags in which arms and ammunition was concealed. The Army commander said that the recovered arms and ammunition include 10 AK-47 Rifles with 20 magazines, 98 Chinese made pistols (.30 mauser) with 196 magazines and two Sub Machine Guns (.30 Cal, folding Butt) with four magazines. 'All these weapons are Chinese make and were wrapped in Chinese and Pakistani newspapers', he added. Major General Pandey, however, ruled out Chinese support to militants in Kashmir. He said that Army has no intelligence inputs about China supporting militancy in Kashmir. The General said that by smuggling this type of weaponry into Kashmir valley, the militants are intending to increase the level of violence. 'The smuggling of short range weaponry suggested that militants are aiming at soft targets like Panchs and Sarpanchs', he added. The Army commander refused to comment on the allegations of senior National Conference leader and uncle of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah about Army was behind killing of the Panchs and Sarpanchs in Kashmir valley. 'I have no words to respond to it', he added. When asked, the General said that that Army is ready to provide security to the Panchs and Sarpanchs if asked by the State Government. He said that Army is ready to help the State Government and the people. On the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir, Major General Lalit Pandey said that Army follows the directions of the Government of India. 'Whatever directions come from GOI we will follow it', he added. He said that to revoke the AFSPA or not to is upto the GOI and 'we have given our opinion to them'.