Terror Launch Pads Across LoC Has Increased: Army commander

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Jammu: The number of terror camps and launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has gone up and around 475 militants are waiting to sneak into the Indian side, northern Army commander Lt Gen Devraj Anbu said on Thursday.

Internally, he said the NIA raids on separatists+ and the killing of top terrorist leaders by security forces have helped in improving security situation in Kashmir.  He said 144 militants have been killed in the state so far this year and the situation is “well under control”.

Gen Anbu said there have been a large number of infiltration attempts along the LoC in J&K this year but “very less” have been successful.  “We cannot tell you the exact number of the terrorists. But the terrorists, who are waiting to cross over to this side (via the LoC from PoK) are nearly 250 in north Kashmir and around 225 in south of Pir Panjal (Jammu region),” said the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C) of Northern Command.

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He was responding to questions from journalists after presenting gallantry and distinguished services medals to 103 army officers and jawans and certificates of appreciation to 31 units apart from 31 civilians at an investiture ceremony at the Northern Command headquarters.  Gen Anbu said the security situation along the LoC and in the hinterland in well under control.

“We are firmly in control of the situation along the LoC… (the number of) launching pads and terrorist camps along LoC has increased as compared to the previous years,” he said.  “While infiltration attempts+ have increased, the success to infiltrate has been much less than previous years despite large number of infiltration attempts. That is because of our robust counter-infiltration grid that we have on LoC,” he said.

“The (number of) militants coming to this side have decreased to a large extent this year,” Gen Anbu said.  According to Multi Agency Centre (MAC) of intelligence gathering, the number of militants who have managed to infiltrate is 75 during the last eight months, he said, adding, “But according to our assessment, it is 45 to 50.”

He said the Army has created a “strong deterrence” at the LoC so that militants do not enter the Indian side.  “While attempts are more, we are preventing them from entering this side, whether in Kashmir valley or Jammu region,” the Army commander said.  About the input of a group of militants having sneaked in via Samba, he said all agencies are closely watching that. “If it manifests somewhere, we will get to know,” he added.  “The situation along the LoC and in hinterland is under control,” he said.

He said the NIA raids aimed at choking funding to separatists, “which has got direct link to terrorism in Kashmir, compliments the security operations” of forces. “Administration (in J&K) is good. We have been able to eliminate terrorist leaders and it is complimented by the choking of funds by NIA raids. All this will have a deterring effect on the youth who are likely to become part of agitation dynamics. It has come down drastically,” he said.

“What was in November-December last year and what is now – there are very few incidents that take place. There is now a token number of persons who are on the ground as they have realized (futility of terrorism). It is only now handful people who are into this,” he added.

Regarding the issue of protests, he said, “Agitational dynamics does not mean that each and every person comes to streets and their heart and soul is into it. There is an upward curve. The government in power and security forces gets to top of it.”  The Army commander said elimination of the leadership of terrorists has brought down incidents and recruitment of the local terrorists.