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Foreign militants being compelled to come out of hideouts: GoC 15 Corps

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Srinagar: Foreign militants are “compelled to come out of their hideouts” as the number of local militants is coming down in the Valley, a top Army officer said here on Monday.

General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the Army’s 15 Corps, Lt General D P Pandey, also said the weapon systems, used in other parts of the world, finding their way to Kashmir is a challenge.

“These foreign terrorists, majority of them, were on the quiet. Initially, they were putting local youth as the face of terrorist activities and terrorism. As the number of local terrorists started drying down and coming down, they (foreign terrorists) are now slowly getting exposed (to encounters),” Lt Gen Pandey told reporters here.

The GoC said the foreign militants are compelled to come out of their respective hiding places and anonymity “to carry out strikes and conduct terror operations against the Kashmiri people or non-locals”.

“Therefore, when they have started coming out and emerging, they are now getting exposed and the contacts (with security forces) are happening,” he said.

Asked about reports of some equipment used by the US forces finding their way to the Valley, the Army officer said it is a challenge, but not a huge one.

“There are equipment, weapon systems, which have been used in other parts of the world, which have found their way inside. It is definitely a challenge. But we have also changed our rules of engagements and procedures to contest that point. They have been found and they are not in those large numbers. But definitely there are signatures and we have recovered after the encounters…it is not a big challenge,” he said.

Referring to the infiltration attempts along the Line of Control (LoC), Lt Gen Pandey said this year so far, there has been only one such attempt.

“Only one attempt, which was made from across to infiltrate, was destroyed and since then there has been no major attempt. There are reconnaissance and some degree of attempts, but because of the (anti-infiltration) grid, they have not been able to come to this side,” he added.

On the issue of Aadhaar cards recovered from militants, the GoC said it was also a challenge, but the security forces will slowly overcome the problem.

“These are challenges because if a person (foreign militant) carries an Aadhaar card, to find out his real identity is a difficult proposition. Also, when there is an encounter and if a person comes out during a live encounter having a valid Aadhaar card, it is a difficult challenge. (But), slowly, we will overcome this problem,” he said. (With PTI inputs)


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