Northern Army Chief Visits Keran, Assesses Situation Along LoC

Northern Army Chief Visits Keran, Assesses Situation Along LoC

6 October 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Northern Command, Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra today visited Keran sector on the Line of Control (LoC) where Army operation against infiltrators is going on for past two weeks. A Srinagar based Defence spokesman said here that Army commander and GOC 15 Corps, Lt General Gurmit Singh, today visited Keran sector to review situation on ground. The spokesman said that the Army commander appreciated the high levels of professionalism and military acumen displayed by troops in carrying out operations under extremely challenging weather and terrain conditions in the sector. An official spokesman said that after Keran visit the Army Commander this afternoon called on Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and apprised him about the prevailing security scenario in the State. “Various matters relating to the strengthening of security grid and cooperation between various security agencies were discussed in the meeting”, the spokesman added. “The Northern Army Commander who was accompanied by Lt General Gurmit Singh also briefed the Chief Minister about various operations conducted by the security forces to combat militancy”, the spokesman added. The Defence spokesman said that the operations in Keran sector of Kupwara area, are going on. He said that there were specific intelligence inputs of likely infiltration in the area. “Since then, there have been four desperate attempts of infiltration in this sector which started on September 23, wherein one terrorist was killed in the area of Lashdat Nar, and a huge quantity of arms, ammunition and war like stores were recovered”, the spokesman added. The spokesman said that there was a massive infiltration cum BAT attempt in the area of Shalabhato, in which 30-40 infiltrators contacted the anti infiltration fence near the LoC at multiple points, in order to cross it. “Heavy exchange of fire thereafter has taken place over several days. An effective cordon is in place, with complete control and domination in the area. Extensive searches to neutralize the terrorists are currently on. With additional inputs coming in, we are completely geared for all eventualities”, the spokesman said. The Defence spokesman said that the area of operations is a high altitude area, which has heights ranging from 10000 – 12000 feet with thickly forested steep slopes, deep ravines and crevasses. “Operations conducted have hence been deliberate and controlled”, he added. The spokesman said that there have been two other infiltration bids attempted in Keran sector after Shalabhato bid, in a span of 24 hours. “In the first attempt on October 4, three terrorists were killed in Gujjardur area while in the second attempt by terrorists to infiltrate in the area of Fateh Gali on October 5, four hardcore terrorists were killed. In both cases, a large amount of arms, ammunition and war like stores have been recovered”, the spokesman added. The Army operation Shalabhato in Keran sector today entered the 13th day with intermittent gunfire being exchanged. In the meantime security forces busted a militant hideout in the forests of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district and recovered arms and ammunition and war like stores. Sources said that the hideout was busted in Venkari village of the district that could have accommodated at least four persons. The recovered arms, ammunition and warlike stores include one AK-47, four magazines, one disposable rocket launcher, one pistol with a magazine, two RPG rockets, Khan dresses and letter heads of organizations.