Reyaz Rashid

2 militants killed during infiltration attempt along LoC

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People have, by and large, rejected Pakistan narrative:  GoC 19 Infantry Division

Baramulla: Two militants were killed Saturday during an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Naugam sector of north Kashmir, Army said.

“Appropriate response by troops on ground was taken to eliminate two terrorists who were trying to infiltrate in the area by cutting the anti-infiltration fence,” General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the Army’s Baramulla-based 19 Infantry Division, Major General Virender Vats, told reporters here.

The heavily-armed militants, who he said were “dressed in combat fatigues had taken the route through Pakistani posts in the area opposite, which clearly indicates Pakistan’s complicity in abetment to foment trouble in India.”

The officer said timely action of the forces ensured the killing of the two militants and in addition to arms, ammunition, food and medicines, the forces recovered Rs 1.5 lakh in Indian and Pakistani currency from the slain militants.

Maj Gen Vats said Saturday’s infiltration bid follows similar attempts made by Pakistan in Rajouri and Kupwara sectors in the recent past and needs to be seen in the backdrop of various inputs about increased presence of militants on the launch pads across the LoC, “fully facilitated and supported by Pakistani army”.

“Indian army remains fully committed in its resolve to maintain the sanctity of the Line of Control and any trans-LoC movement will get similar or appropriate response. The Dagger Division on its part or for that matter Indian army is ready along the LoC,” he said.

The officer said the number of militants at launchpads across the LoC could be anywhere between 200 to 300.

“The launchpads are fully occupied and if we have to hazard a guess, it could be anything between 250-300 terrorists presently occupying the launch pads (on) opposite (side),” he said.

He said ever since the Centre’s August 05, 2019 decision of revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan is trying hard to push more and more militants into the Valley in an attempt to instigate the people, but the neighbouring country has failed to do so for a long time now.

“Pakistan has been failing in its attempt to instigate the people of Kashmir. The people have by and large rejected the narrative of Pakistan. In the coming three to four months, infiltration may go up, but troops are on alert to foil all such bids,” he said.

Meanwhile, a senior security official said the militants were part of Pakistan’s attempts to spike up the violence in the union territory ahead of the first anniversary of the revocation of the erstwhile state’s special status.

One of the two slain militants, Idris Bhat, has been identified as a local, the official said, adding that the duo was most probably a part of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

“Two AK-47 rifles and a huge number of bullets, a made in China pistol and four grenades which have been made in Pakistan’s ordnance factory were among the recoveries made from the spot, ” the official said.

“The grenades were concrete evidence of links between militants and the Pakistan army and government,” the official said, adding, similar grenades were used by Jaish-e-Mohammad in the Parliament attack in 2001.

On militancy status in north Kashmir, he said that north Kashmir has quite different dynamics than that of south Kashmir, as the people here have largely “discarded the militancy narrative” and the militants “have not got any sort of attraction at all because the people have rejected it.”

Following the inputs about shift of militant activities from south Kashmir to north Kashmir, stringent security alert is being maintained to thwart any militant attacks, he said.

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