While officials investigated whether the militants who attacked a BSF bus in Udhampur sneaked in from the Line of Control (LoC) or the International Border (IB) in Jammu, the Army’s top most commander in Kashmir said that for the first time, since the start of militancy in the state, no militant had infiltrated into the Valley through the LoC.
“This is the first time no infiltrator managed to sneak into the Valley and this will have a far reaching impact on the militancy of Kashmir,” General Officer Commanding, 15 Corps, Lt Gen Subrata Saha told The Indian Express in an exclusive interview on Monday. He added that the Army had foiled all the eight infiltration attempts in the last seven months, while killing 17 militants along the LoC.
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“So far by all estimates no attempt of infiltration have succeeded that I think is a major achievement of the soldiers who are deployed on the ground over there that they have ensured that robust infiltration grid is in place and is able to deal with the challenges on the LoC,” he said, adding that the Army was ready to meet any challenge along the LoC.
In the last three years, according to Army reports, over 283 infiltrators had managed to sneak through, Kupwara, Uri, Gurez sectors into the Valley, while 138 infiltrators were eliminated. Army officials also claimed that 17 camps, with at least 1000 terror-trainees, were still intact in Pakistan. Due to shortage of weapons and foot-soldiers, terrorists were being forced to resort to weapon snatching and look for local recruits, sources in the Army said.
Lt Gen Saha said that usually intensity of infiltration attempts increases when the snow melts.
“The terrorists try to take advantage of this situation. They were denied that chance this time due to some very good primitive dispositions taken by soldiers on the ground. Absolutely, this is the first time it has reduced to zero,” he said.
According to Saha, over 200 militants were currently active in the Valley and most of them were affiliated to the Hizbul Mujahideen or the Lashkar- e-Toiba.