Updated: September 24, 2021 7:39:43 am
TWO DAYS after he said there has been no ceasefire violation or instigation from Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) following the ceasefire pact in February this year, Army’s top officer in the Valley Lt Gen D P Pandey on Thursday said a lot of activity is being witnessed at the militant-launching pads across the border and it is “not possible without the complicity and connivance” of Pakistan’s Army.
Lt Gen Pandey, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, was addressing reporters after three militants were killed in a gunfight on the LoC while trying to infiltrate into north Kashmir’s Uri sector Thursday morning.
The Army said the three militants were part of a heavily armed five-member group. “Our troops deployed on the LoC spotted three individuals crossing over to our side followed by two more who were slightly behind. All were challenged. There was a firefight in which three terrorists were neutralised,” a senior officer said. Five automatic rifles, seven pistols, 24 UBGL grenades, 38 Chinese grenades and seven Pakistani hand grenades were recovered.
This is the second infiltration attempt in Uri sector this week. An operation was launched on Sunday after a group of six militants sneaked in. But it was called off after three days after the militants could not be tracked.
Addressing reporters along with IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar after the gunfight, Lt Gen Pandey said: “It is just not possible that such number of activities can take place without the complicity and connivance of local Pak army commanders.”
On the recent infiltration attempts, he said there has “definitely been a change of behavior in the past one month”.
Lt Gen Pandey said they were anticipating infiltration attempts before the onset of winter as the launch pads across the border were being “filled up” over the past months.
“We anticipated that before the winter months there would concerted efforts to push in terrorists,” he said. “In past few weeks, we have been getting credible inputs of lot of activities in the launch pad areas and plans to carry out infiltration, the manifestation of which we saw in Uri and the second one this morning.”
“The current level of peace and stability, the tourist footfall, in fact the visit of large number of ministers to the Valley… is rankling across,” Lt Gen Pandey said. “And the intent of sending the small weapons in terms of pistols and grenades is to ensure that you are arming the so-called hybrid terrorist, the youth who are studying in the day and in the evening they are given a task to hit…”
Lt Gen Pandey declined to link the increase in infiltration attempts with the rise of Taliban in Afghanistan. “We had anticipated the possibility of this change in behavior starting September and October, which has started to manifest on ground,” he said. “We will not like to link it with any other geopolitical situation.”
IGP Kumar said that since the start of this year, police have recovered 97 pistols so far. :It shows that Pakistan’s agenda is to send maximum number of pistols and hand grenades here,” he said.
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