Militants Eye Kargil, Drass For Infiltration

Militants Eye Kargil, Drass For Infiltration

19 August 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: After tight vigil and strengthening of infiltration grid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and Jammu regions, militants supported by Pakistani troops are trying to infiltrate into Kashmir through Kargil and Drass sectors, highly placed sources said here today. Pakistani troops violated ceasefire in Kaksar sector of Kargil last night by firing on Indian troop positions from small arms and mortars. The firing continued for half an hour. However, there was no loss of life or damage. Sources said that around 30 mortar shells fired by Pakistani troops fell near Kaksar and Ladu villages during the night triggering panic. The terror stricken villagers took cover but there was no damage to property or loss of life as the shells fell outside the villages. Sources said that Army didn’t retaliate as the troops have been asked not to retaliate in Kargil and Drass sectors till further orders. However, during the night intervening August 11 and 12 when Pakistani troops fired in Kargil and Drass, Army had retaliated. The ceasefire violation in Kargil and Drass sectors took place for the first time in 14 years since the Kargil war of 1999. “Last week Pakistani troops fired from small arms in Kill Nallah, Marpola, LC post in Drass and Bajrang post in Kaksar and Lutusid in Kargil. However, there was no loss of life or damage”, sources said. The Kargil conflict had happened after militants and Pakistani soldiers crossed over and took positions on the Indian side of the LoC over the winter months of 1998-99. The two countries were involved in armed conflict between May and July 1999. Sources said that the ceasefire violations along the LoC in Kargil and Drass is aimed at pushing in militants through these two sectors where there is no LoC fence and the terrain is very difficult. Sources said that the border between Drass and Gurez is one of the possible routes of infiltration. However, sources said that the area has been taken care of and large number of troops of 15 Corps and 14 Corps has been deployed in the sector. Twenty four infiltrators were killed along the LoC in North Kashmir this summer and infiltration of late has become difficult. Army sources said that there have been 80 per cent increase in the ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir this year. Army has been maintaining that militants are making desperate attempts to infiltrate into Kashmir valley to re-launch militancy. But they have failed to infiltrate and so far this year. Around 40 of them have infiltrated and majority of them have been killed in the hinterland in security forces operations. Sources said that the desperation of infiltrating into Kashmir is forcing them to take the most difficult routes of Kargil and Drass.