Army Fights BATs, Special Troops At LoC In Keran

Army Fights BATs, Special Troops At LoC In Keran

2 October 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Army is fighting a largest group of infiltrators including some special troops on the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector of North Kashmir for past nine days in one of the longest operations in rugged terrain in dense forest area at an altitude of around 10, 000 feet. General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Army’s 15 Corps Lt General Gurmit Singh while addressing a press conference in Srinagar said that it is premature to say whether Pakistan army is involved in the infiltration of militants but there are some special troops. “From the operation that is going on till now and the strength of infiltrators and the multiple points at they attempted to infiltrate, indicate that definitely there were some special troops. This is quite different from the trend we have seen in the earlier infiltration attempts,” said the General. The Army Commander said that it is a Border Action Team (BAT) cum infiltration attempt and number of infiltrators who made the attempt is large. “I can only say, analyzing the methodology of this infiltration, it was not a pure infiltration. It was a BAT cum infiltration. The number of militants who attempted this infiltration was rather large. In fact, yesterday night 10 to 12 militants tried to sneak into the cordoned area from across.” It may be mentioned here that BAT comprised highly trained militants and are being supported by Special Services Group (SSG) of Pakistani troops. A BAT team has around 25 men in it and most of them are militants. The General said that operation against the infiltrators along the LoC is longest in recent years. “The operation, which began on September 24 is going on. It is going on for past nine days. Our troops have cordoned off the area and we are in total control of the operation. The reports of our posts being captured by the infiltrators are absurd”, said the General. The Army Commander said: “The anti-infiltration operation along Line of Control in Keran sector of Kashmir is going on for the ninth day. Five soldiers were injured in fire fight with the militants who have been holed up in the cordoned area. All the injured soldiers have been hospitalized and are stable.” He said: “We were prepared for the challenge. This is our role and this is what we are meant for. The operation is being carried out in a calibrated manner to avoid any own casualties. We are not rushing through as it will mean the risk of own casualties.” Army Commander said that 30-40 militants tried to infiltrate nine days ago in Shalbhati area of Keran and they were encircled by the troops. He said that 10-12 militants were killed so far and Army’s priority is not to recover the bodies but carry out the operation. He said that ramnant militants are still firing and it is just a matter of time when the operation will be completed. The General said that operation is going on and Army is not in a hurry to conclude it . He said there was minor movement in the cordoned area during the night and firing from inside cordoned area at 2 p.m. today. The GOC said that any territorial infiltration will not be accepted. He said that some inimical elements have been conducting black propaganda. He rejected reports that Army is taking help of Air Force in the operation. The Army Commander said that there has been no significant ceasefire violation in the area by Pakistan adding that it is happening in close proximity to Pakistan.