15 Corps Chief Rules Out Individual Security For Panchayat Members
SRINAGAR (ONS) – Giving credit to the people of Kashmir for the valleys restored peace, the commander of the armys 15th Corps, Lt Gen Om Prakash, on Sunday said that militant infiltration from across the LoC was down but not out.
At the sidelines of a friendly cricket match servicemen and media personnel at corps headquarters at the Badami Bagh cantonment, Gen Prakash told newsmen that the Unified Command had decided on collective security for panchayat leaders as individual protection would be difficult.
Attempts are being made to push the maximum possible number of militants across the LoC before winter snow, but the army and the paramilitary forces are on high alert, tyhe general said, replying to questions from reporters.
Militants try to sneak in taking advantage of the dense forests and tough terrain along the LoC, he said. Though infiltration as dropped, it has not died down completely.
Reacting to the UJC chief, Syed Salahuddins statement about panchayat leaders, Gen Prakash said that militant groups wanted to lose no chance to disrupt the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The statement is nothing new. They (militants) have been speaking this language all along. They want to weaken democratic institutions and end their relevance, he said.
But security agencies and the civilian administration will jointly defeat such designs, he said.
The Unified Command discussed the attacks on panchayat leaders in detail during its recent meeting, and decided to provide collective security to the rural representatives, he said.
As an important part of the decisions, the army has stepped up night patrolling in sensitive areas, he said.
It would be difficult to provide security to all panchayat members individually, but the state government has the authority to take any decision, he said.
Asserting that the situation in the valley had improved, the general gave credit to the people of Kashmir for restoring calm, saying that the security agencies hoped for cooperation from the masses in the future also.
The people of Kashmir favour peace. They dont want to create problems for themselves by siding with disruption and unrest, he said.
Replying to a question, the general said that militant attacks were aimed at showing the presence of militant groups, and said that investigations had yielded some important clues in a recent shootout near a hotel outside Srinagar.
The attackers have been identified, and a major hunt is on, he said.
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