2018 ‘Great Year’ As Over 250 Militants Killed: Army   

JAMMU — General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh on Thursday described 2018 as a ‘great year’ for army and other government forces in the Kashmir Valley as “over 250 militants were killed, fifty four arrested and four others surrendered under pressure.” 

 “The 2018 has been great year for armed forces on security front. As per the record of last ten years, army along with other forces have neutralized many militants. Many militants have surrendered under pressure and many others were arrested alive,” said top army commander while talking to the reporters after inaugurating a Bridge, spanning over Suran River which connects Kalai area to Chandak area in Poonch district.

“More than 250 militants were killed, 54 others arrested and four others have surrendered,” he said, adding, “This speaks about the strength of our security establishment,” the officer said. 

Replying to questions about the continuous ceasefire violations along the LoC and five Pakistan soldiers reportedly being killed in Indian retaliation, Singh said, “The report you (media) said about the killing of five Pakistan soldiers in the last few days, it shows that the Indian Army is giving a befitting reply to every nefarious act of Pakistan.” 

He said the Army was a step ahead of Pakistan as far as giving a befitting reply is concerned.

About the planting of IEDs along the LoC to target government forces, the official said it “is nothing new”.

“For the past several years, they have been planting IEDs in our areas. We take care of it. Sometime the IEDs explode and cause casualties but our endeavour is to remain vigilant along the border,” he said.

The bridge has been constructed by Border Roads Organization and as per the army, “The bridge will reduce traffic congestion in the city and ease out inconvenience caused to the people specially Budha Amarnath Shrine pilgrims in Mandi as it reduces the travelling time considerably.”

The bridge, the army commander is an important strategic asset as it enhances the movement of military equipment and troops in a faster time frame, he said. “The Indian Army and BRO has been working towards infrastructure development in the remote and far-flung areas and improving the road connectivity, he said.  

Omar ‘Beg To Differ’  

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday questioned Army officials boasting about the number of militants killed in the state last year, saying it would have been a “great year” if no youth had joined militancy.

 “I beg to differ, a great year would be one in which no young man would join militancy, no terrorists would be killed & no security personnel would lose their lives in encounters. The compulsion of killing militants/terrorists shouldn’t be treated as a cause for celebration (sic),” Omar tweeted reacting to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh’s statement describing 2018 as a good year on security front. 

Reacting to tweet by a TV channel, Omar reiterated that “a great year would be a year in which security personnel don’t lose their lives in encounters but that part doesn’t suit your narrative & when have you guys ever been honest to the cause of journalism.”


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