Army Intensifies Vigil Along LoC

Army Intensifies Vigil Along LoC

14 May 2013
Deccan Herald
Zulfikar Majid

Srinagar: After reports of recent infiltration bids by the militants, the Army has intensified vigil along the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Sources told Deccan Herald that the Army was astonished when its patrol party encountered a group of at least six to eight highly armed militants in Budnal forests in the Chowkibal area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district on May 7. “The militants managed to give the slip to the Army in dense forests after a brief gun battle. The Army had used helicopters for surveillance and air dropped troops at vantage points inside the forests. The operation against these militants entered the eighth day on Tuesday with security forces clueless about the whereabouts of these infiltrated militants,” they said. While the Army is continuing with its search operation in the area, the militants have succeeded in escaping from the cordon and might have already reached their destinations. The Army had recovered four haversacks from the Budnal forests that contained dry fruits, roasted chicken and first aid. From the seized items it looks that the group has infiltrated from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) a night before they had an encounter with Army. “They had taken advantage of snow-covered mountain passes,” the sources y added. At least 12 militants have also infiltrated from Macchil sector where the mountain passes have not opened up yet. “Taking the advantage of tough terrain and heavy snow these militants managed to give the slip to the Army in freak weather conditions,” they added. A senior Army official said the infiltration along the LoC in Kupwara district has taken place despite inputs that the militants might try to infiltrate from first week of May when the mountain passes are still closed with snow. The Army had started repairing the damaged LoC fence along the LoC as a pre-emptive measure in April but the groups have used snow-covered mountains in freak weather to infiltrate. The security agencies apprehend increased infiltration this year after number of militants in the Kashmir valley declined following successful operations by the security forces over the last couple of years.