Guns Fall Silent In Keran After 14 Days

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SRINAGAR: The Indian Army on Tuesday called off its 14-day-long operation in Keran sector of the Line of Control (LOC) in northern Kashmir while the army chief, General Bikram Singh, said the attempt had been a desperate infiltration bid and not an intrusion by the guerrillas. 

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Army’s Northern Command Lt General Sanjiv Chachra said, “We had very specific intelligence of their operation. We knew where they were and we were prepared for it. Some of these infiltration attempts have been eliminated and some of them have been foiled.”

“We are now going to launch operations which are intelligence based, which are surveillance based so that we can meet the challenges,” General Sanjiv Chachra told reporters here.

The Army has been maintaining that it has been on a concerted search operation in Keran sector for the last 14 days after it foiled a major infiltration attempt by militants backed by suspected Pakistan special forces last month.

The 30-40 infiltrating militants were well equipped carrying supplies that would have lasted them 20 to 30 days, Gen. Chachra said.

“We have recovered signal, communication equipments, night vision devices, rations that would have sustained them for almost 20 to 30 days,” he said.

“There were 30 to 40 militants in the infiltrating column at Shalbuth village in Keran sector. We carried out a number of searches in and adjacent areas. We have found eight bodies so far,” he said.

Replying to a question on rest of the militants, he said, “(Bodies of) some of them might have been dragged back. Some of them were used in other subsequent operations in neighbouring areas.”

Gen Chachra said, “Sanctity of the LoC is well maintained (by the Indian side). This is our charter, this is the mandate given to us. The sanctity of the LoC can never be trampled.”

Earlier in the day, Army chief Gen. Bikram Singh said the infiltration bid by militants in Keran sector has been foiled. “It was a desperate infiltration bid, which has been foiled,” Gen Singh reportedly said.

He said eight militants have been killed and 59 weapons including 18 AK rifles and war-like stores captured.

Pertinently, GoC of Srinagar based 15 core had last week said that there were 12-15 bodies of militants lying in the area.

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