200 Ultras Waiting To Sneak-in: Lt Gen Hooda

200 Ultras Waiting To Sneak-in: Lt Gen Hooda

30 April 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: General Officer Commanding (GOC), 16 Corps (Nagrota) Lt Gen DS Hooda said today that there were nearly 200 militants camping at the launching pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir awaiting an opportunity to sneak into this side but added that the troops were fully alert and have taken elaborate security measures to thwart the militants’ plan. Speaking to reporters at Kalakote in Rajouri district during an ex-servicemen rally and medical camp, Lt Gen Hooda said the Army was maintaining a high alert all along the LoC to ensure that the militants didn’t manage to infiltrate into Indian side during summer when snow had started melting in the passes. “Nearly 200 militants are waiting to cross over to Jammu and Kashmir from across the border but elaborate measures are in place to thwart any such attempt,’’ he said. He added that the Army was fully alive to the situation and has taken all precautionary measures to thwart infiltration attempts by the militants, who were camping close to the launching pads on Pakistan side opposite the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. Worthwhile to mention here that the militants camping across the LoC were desperate to sneak into this side as their commanders were receiving frantic calls from their cadre on this side to send more militants and manpower as they were running short of both. In the winter season, the militants made a number of infiltration attempts from the LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch. However, the troops had foiled all their attempts. He said there is a high-level of alertness along the LoC in the wake of threat of infiltration. Lt Gen Hooda said 20-30 militant training camps are located close to the LoC but some of the camps were as deep in Pakistan as Punjab. “All the training camps were active and running. The militants were still being trained in the camps,’’ the Army Commander said. Disclosing that there were militant training camps deep inside Pakistan, the GOC Nagrota Corps said: “there are areas in Punjab where there is presence of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants’’. There had been inputs that some of the camps were being run by Pakistan Army, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and militant commanders secretly both in Pakistan and PoK. However, some open camps have surfaced again in which militants from Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir were being trained. Asked about reports on the presence of Chinese Army in PoK, Lt Gen Hooda said, “there is development work going on the other side. We do not have any information that there are people from the Chinese Army there”. Replying to a question on the impact of upcoming general elections in Pakistan on the Kashmir situation, he observed: “we do not know what is going to happen, what type of dispensation is going to come? It is too early to say. But, from our side we have kept a high-level of alertness.” The GOC said “there are some areas in Poonch where the fencing has been damaged but the repair work is on.” The fencing generally gets damaged in the winter due to snowfall. However, it was repaired when the snow gets cleared with the onset of summer. “The repair work on border fencing has been completed at some places while it was still in progress in some other areas,’’ Lt Gen Hooda said. On militancy-related activities in Rajouri, Poonch and other districts in Jammu region, the Army Commander said “things are much better. But, terms like militancy-free should be used with a little caution as ultras can move from one place to another.” Police and Intelligence agencies have declared six districts of Jammu region including Doda, Reasi, Udhampur, Jammu, Kathua and Samba as free of militancy while maintaining that some militants were still active in four remaining districts-Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch. Earlier, an impressive veteran rally, medical camp and pension adalat were organized at Kalakote stadium under the aegis of Headquarters Counter Insurgency Force (Uniform). Lt Gen DS Hooda and Rachpal Singh, MLA Kalakote inaugurated the rally. More than 1000 veterans hailing from Reasi and Rajouri districts participated in the rally. The GOC Counter Insurgency Force (Uniform), Commander, Rashtriya Rifles Sector, Tain, DC Rajouri and DC Reasi were also present during the event along with other civilian and military officials.