Refused to divulge any information about the operation going on in Shala Bhata village in Keran sector, Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lieutenant General Gurmeet Singh Wednesday said Indian Army has cordoned off the area where at least 10 to 12 specialist regulars and militants have been spotted.
“I can’t share any kind of information about the operation as it could have bearing on my soldiers. Let the operation be over and I will share everything with you,” Singh told reporters in Srinagar adding that it is absurd to claim that Paksitani troops had occupied an uninhabited village along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir last Monday.
As per a local news agency, CNS, Singh said that Indian Army handling the operation are making the movement of intruders difficult and soon they will be eliminated. “There is no time limit as we are not in hurry. Hurry means causality to our soldiers. We are dealing with intruders in a planned manner and it is the question of time now,” he said.
He said that the Army had inputs that some 30 to 40 militants are present in Keran sector and, “we cordoned them. There was an exchange of fire and the operation is in progress,” he said.
Coming down heavily on ‘inimical’ forces Singh said that there are certain elements who are propagating that militants have occupied a village. “It is a difficult terrain and no village is found in the area. It is absurd to claim that militants have occupied any of our post or village,” he said.
While replying to a question, Singh denied that they are seeking the help of Indian Air Force. “It is absurd. We have not sought the help of Indian Air Force. Have faith in us and we will eliminate all these militants,” he said.
Lieutenant General said that effective cordon is on and it is the last phase of operation. “Dead bodies of militants are of no consequences for me. What is important is that area is cleared. We have recovered large quantity of arms and ammunition. Some of the weapons are made in Pakistan,” he said.
However Singh refused to divulge the information about the ongoing operation saying that it would have bearing on his soldiers.
Pertinently, some media reports suggested that for the first time since Pakistani regulars and militants occupied several abandoned posts in Kargil in 1999, leading to a low-intensity conflict that eventually saw the intruders evicted, Pakistani soldiers on September 23 occupied Shala Bhata village in Keran sector during a routine rotation of troops on this side.