As India and Pakistan continue to exchange fire and mortars on International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) with civilians suffering most in Jammu region, the army on Thursday claimed that nearly 180 to 200 militants are waiting to infiltrate in Kashmir.
“If you have seen right through the month of September, while the Kashmir region was suffering because of the absolutely unprecedented floods, you had several infiltration attempts and each one of these attempts has been foiled and in this duration between first September till this date, 18 militants have been killed,” the General officer Commanding (GoC) 15 Chinar Corps, Lt General Subrata Saha told reporters here. He said 12 out of 18 militants were infiltrators who were killed on LoC.
“Clearly there is an attempt to carry out infiltration…there are numbers that there are across and our assessment is between 180 to 200 militants that are waiting to infiltrate,” General Saha, according to GNS claimed.
He said most of the infiltration attempts were foiled in Tanghdar Sector, Sundarmali in Keran Sector and in Machil sector. Saha informed that two ceasefire violations took place in Kashmir region between 30th September and 4th October. “After that the situation has been stable,” he said.
Lt General Saha said the fence has been repaired on the LoC after suffering damage due to floods and the ‘robust counter-infiltration grid’ is in place. “The fence is up,” he said.
On ceasefire violations, he said the response should be effective and focused. “They (ceasefire violations) have a localized dynamic and to an extent, the response has to be very firm. It has to be focused and I think it has to be effect based. Equally, it is important that we see through the causes and affects both.”
He said in Kashmir whenever the ceasefire has been violated by Pakistan, the army has responded firmly.
On being asked about the claims of some south Kashmir locals that militants also took part in the rescue operation during flood, Saha said there are no such reports and rejected the claim.
The GOC 15 Corps, once again, termed the re-appearance of Islamic State (IS) or ISIS flags during anti-India protests and clashes in Kashmir a concern.
“As far as my input, there was one incident of the kind that you refer to that of the (IS) flag. We are watching the situation. This is something which merits the highest concern of all security agencies and let me tell you that it is getting the attention of all the security agencies,” he said.
The top army commander said the appearance of flag is worrisome. “Certainly, we are watching and indeed closely monitoring the situation as it were. It merits and it is getting the highest concern,” he said.
This week on Monday, anti-India protests and clashes erupt after Eid prayers at several places in Kashmir including in downtown Srinagar, Anantnag and Sopore.
Eyewitnesses had said that youths in Eidgah area of old city and Sopore in north Kashmir waved Islamic State flags during protests.