‘Infiltration Levels, Militant Recruitment Down’

Representational Photo

Srinagar: The situation along the LoC in Kashmir is under control and security forces have been able to stop infiltration to a large extent so far this year, a top Army officer said here on Saturday.

Corps Commander of the Army’s Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt Gen B S Raju, said the number of militants who infiltrated into this side of the Line of Control (LoC) so far this year was less than 30.

The situation on the LoC is under control. Few ceasefire violations are taking place which Pakistan is using to aid in infiltration, but in those areas too, the situation has been brought under control,” Lt Gen Raju said here.

“We have been able to stop infiltration to a large extent this year. Last year, about 130 militants had infiltrated, but the number this year is less than 30 which is very less, he said.

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a passing-out-cum-attestation parade of 301 youths from the union territory at the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regimental Centre at Rangreth on the outskirts of the city here.

The senior Army officer expressed hope that the internal situation in the valley would become better because of less infiltration.

He further said anti-militancy operations in the valley were continuing and militants being neutralised by security forces.

This morning, a foreign militant and a local were neutralised (in an encounter in Kulgam). We have seen that wherever we neutralise a foreign militant, the area becomes peaceful. Peace has been established to a large extent in the areas of Pulwama and Shopian because of the operations in the last two-three months, he said.

The corps commander said the recruitment of new militants had decreased in the last six months, but picked up again in the last month or so.

But, I see a ray of hope as several militants who had taken up the path of violence have surrendered. We do not share details about it, but it is a good indicator, he said.

He said while the problem in south Kashmir was more serious than north, overall the situation there was under control.

Asked about the number of militants at the launch pads across the LoC, he said according to intelligence inputs, there were about 250-300 militants there.

But we have been able to stop them despite their continuous attempts (to infiltrate), he added.

Lt Gen Raju said the security forces have been working on a surrender policy for militants so as to help them return to the mainstream.

We have been working on a policy for surrender and we have sent our recommendations, but, as of now, the policy has not been formalised. But, even in the absence of any policy, we have a system in which we own anyone who comes back, he said.

Asked about the forthcoming panchayat polls in the UT, the corps commander said that the Army will render whatever help is required to conduct the polls in a peaceful manner.

Polls have been announced and we hope that people come forward to participate so that development comes to their area. We will give any help that is required to conduct the polls in a peaceful manner, he said.

Earlier, Lt Gen Raju reviewed the parade of 301 passing out soldiers from the UT who completed a year’s strenuous training at the regimental centre.

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