Army carrying out changes, modifications to keep IED attacks at bay: GOC Northern Command

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Srinagar

Army on Sunday said that it was carrying out a large number of “changes and modifications” to keep at bay the attempts by militants to carry out to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against the forces.

Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command

“IEDs is only a method by which the (militants) carry out the destruction of the security forces or of the government agencies, otherwise they have to come face to face in combat with the security forces. So when they want to carry out stand-off attacks, they like to put an IED and escape from there, so this is one of the methods’,” General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) northern command Ranbir Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function in connection with Kargil war anniversary.

He continued: “But as far as our strategy is concerned whichever method the (militants) use, our operations are aimed at neutralising all types of (militants). So our operations are continuing relentlessly based on the information we keep on receiving.”

At the same time, he said Army was carrying out a large number of other “changes and modifications” which include bringing in certain new counter IED equipments and training troops. “We also have bomb disposal squads, we have dogs trained to be able to detect IEDs and a large number of other measures.”

He said all “gaps along the LoC have been plugged and the Indian Army is fully trained and equipped to take on any challenge, any contingency that may arise.”

“I also want to take this opportunity to articulate very clearly that should whenever there is a misadventure by the adversary to cause any action which is wrong as perceived by us along the LoC, they will always be given a befitting response, a lesson which they shall always remember for the times to come,” he said.

Asked regarding delays in Zojila Pass and construction of the tunnel and when its completion was expected, the Lt General Singh said: “The inauguration of the tunnel was carried out by the Prime Minister last year. The work has commenced and there are some challenges out there. And wherever there are challenges we will be able to find solutions to that, but it is satisfying that even ZoJiLa sometimes is closed, we have alternate access coming from Lohtang, access which reaches Ladakh and from Leh we can carry out the movement to this side,” he said.

He continued: “But the aim is that we should be able to have Zojila pass road functional as early as possible.” Asked about reasons for not clearing much of the territories allegedly encroached upon by China, he said: “As far as the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China is concerned, we are maintaining peace and tranquillity. There are some transgressions which take place at times but we have very well established mechanisms for confidence building. We are able to resolve those differences by sitting with the Chinese and we are able to discuss with the Chinese army.” Overall, he said, the situation continues to be peaceful and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), reported news agency GNS.

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