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SOURCE: HT

The Army on Saturday said it has been able to prevent about three-fourth of infiltration attempts across the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto India-Pakistan border in Jammu & Kashmir, this year compared to 2019 even as Pakistan continued to push infiltrators and weapons to fuel terrorism.

Lt Gen B S Raju, the general officer commanding of the Army’s Chinar Corps responsible for operations in the Kashmir Valley, said the situation along the LoC is under control even as ceasefire violations were happening to some extent. “It [ceasefire violations] help Pakistan in infiltration.”

Raju cited intelligence inputs and said around 250-300 terrorists were ready across launch pads on the Pakistan side to infiltrate into Jammu & Kashmir. “We have been able to stop them despite their efforts to infiltrate,” he said. “Last year, around 130 persons infiltrated and this year the figure is below 30. Such is the change. And I hope this will also lead to an improvement in the internal situation,” he said on the sidelines of a function in Srinagar.

Raju said they foiled an attempt from the Pakistani side to send weapons, including four AK-74 rifles, using a tube across the Kishanganga River in Keran in Kupwara district on Saturday. “Our jawans were alert and owing to our surveillance equipment, we were able to recover that cache. This broadly shows that there has been no change in the intentions of Pakistan. And in future as well, we will offset their designs,” he said.

Raju said there have been other attempts to send weapons into other parts of Jammu & Kashmir and even Punjab. “The motive to push weapons is to keep the people of Kashmir tangled so that terrorism remains here. We always try to stop this so that there is very little damage here. We want the help of the people to stop terrorism.”

Raju said they were also continuously neutralising militants. “In the morning [Saturday] in South Kashmir, we were able to neutralise a foreign and a local terrorist. We have witnessed wherever a foreign terrorist is neutralised in a particular area, peace prevails there. In Pulwama and Shopian, owing to different operations in the past two-three months, there has been peace there.”

Raju said the militant recruitment has overall decreased in the last six months. “In South Kashmir, the problem is worse than North Kashmir. Overall, the situation is under control. A month ago, the recruitment increased but it has again come down in the past 15 days. I hope the youth will pick the correct path and there will be a further reduction in recruitment.”

Raju said many terrorists were also surrendering. “We do not advertise that thing but it is a good indicator.”

He said they were awaiting the summary of evidence to the killing of three young men in a staged gunbattle in July. “Initial court of inquiry has concluded and, on that basis, we concluded that some wrong was committed. And on that basis, we have ordered a summary of the evidence which is halfway through. And we hope that it concludes soon so that we can go into the next stage.”

Raju said contrary to reports, they have seen no indications that China and Pakistan were helping each other tactically. “We have seen in the news that China is helping Pakistan or Pakistan is helping China. We have no such indications. Owing to CPEC [China–Pakistan Economic Corridor] there is the presence of Chinese in Pakistan. Military cooperation in terms of equipment is there but we did not see any tactical help.”