Ahead Of Obama Visit, Militants Planning Attacks In Jammu And Kashmir: Army

15 January 2015

Nagrota: Ahead of US president Barrack Obama's visit, Indian Army pressed the alarm button saying the militants are planning to target schools and places of worship in Jammu and Kashmir even as 200 ultras are waiting to infiltrate from the other side of Line of Control (LoC). The army's bombshell came on the day when the security forces killed five top militants in a fierce encounter in Shopian district of south Kashmir. 'There are general inputs that militant groups may hit soft-targets particularly schools, civilian areas and places of worship etc. I would like to assure you that all security agencies and troops under my command are alive to such designs and we will make sure that such things are defeated in detail,' lieutenant general KH Singh, general officer commanding 16 Corps, told reporters in Jammu. The army commander said around 200 militants are waiting on the launch pads and terror camps on the other side of LoC to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir. 'As per our information there are around 14 to 15 terrorist camps South of Pir Panjal opposite my area of responsibility. There are around 200 militants roaming between the launch pads and terror camps and planning to infiltrate,' he said. Later, the defence spokesman at Jammu Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta elaborated that the strength of approximately 200 terrorists poised for infiltration in area South of Pir Panjal range is based on routine intelligence assessments which are carried out from time to time. 'These assessments are based on existing terror training camps and launch pads across LoC opposite Poonch and Rajouri districts,' he said. Indian Army figures reveal that there are more than 35 launch pads and some coordination centers active on the other side of LoC south of Pir Panjal range. 'These coordinated centers between the militants, ISI and army have always been there in training centres and launch pads. Only the new thing I feel is that the coordination has gone up to a larger scale because they want to energise the militant activities across. Let me assure that Indian Army is fully prepared for any eventuality,' said Lt Gen Singh. What is sending the alarm bells ringing is that Pakistan may try to deflect their home grown militants to replenish the ranks in Jammu and Kashmir. 'The environment within Pakistan is very complicated. They are also facing a lot of threat from their own home grown militancy. I suspect there is a possibility that they may try to deflect some of these elements in the garb of some kind of assistance to the so-called freedom fighters. That cannot be ruled out,' he said. The statement came on the day when security forces achieved a major success when they killed five top militants in a gun-fight in Kohrut area of Shopian district. A defence spokesman said intelligence inputs about presence of four to five terrorists in a hideout in the forested area of Kohrut, Shopian was received by the Rashtriya Rifles during late evening of January 14. The operation were launched by 0930 pm and an effective cordon was established by 0330 hrs by the Rashtriya Rifle unit and SOG, blocking all possible escape routes. 'As the noose was tightened in the morning hours, the terrorists hiding in the forested area opened heavy volume of fire. In the ensuing fire fight, five terrorists were eliminated,' he said.