Udhampur- Lt Gen Dwivedi said that infiltration is drastically down, yet currently there are 200 militants staged across the border ready to be launched into Jammu and Kashmir.
The ceasefire along the Indo-Pak border has been working ‘well’ since February 2021 agreement, he asserted.
He said that the number of trained militants in Jammu and Kashmir is dwindling with each passing as 21 foreign militants have been eliminated this year so far in absence of local shelter and support.
“The number of terrorists staged across the Indo-Pak border are approximately 200. They are waiting across (LoC) to be launched to this side,” Dwivedi said in reply to a question about the security situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and across the J-K border.
He said that the counter infiltration grid is very fool-proof.
“We have made sure that all reserve troops are put in the second tier of defence so that no infiltration takes place,” he said.
“In the last twelve months, to say so, the number of ceasefire violations has been very limited — only one to three CFVs took place,” he said.
He maintained that militant infrastructure, however, seems to be intact across the border. “There are six major terrorist camps and 29 minor camps. There are temporary launching pads located close to various military establishments,” he said.
He said that infiltration not only takes places via mountainous areas and forests but also through International Border via Jammu and also Punjab and Nepal.
“Our aim is to identify these people and neutralize them at the earliest possible time”, he said.
The Army commander said that there are 40 to 50 local militants currently operating in the hinterland besides foreign militants, whose number cannot be determined.
“But we have neutralized 21 foreign terrorists till now. It shows that support for sheltering terrorists is dwindling with each passing day,” he said.
Dwivedi said local militants who were neutralized were very poorly trained and armed with just pistols.
Expressing concern over radicalisation, he said that teenagers are being recruited increasingly and it is a matter of concern for all.
“They are being educated to get rid of radicalisation being infused in them by Pakistan. After the abrogation of article 370, there is a change,” he said.
“Army is playing an important role in bringing this change.” Dwivedi said that over 15,000 students in 48 goodwill schools are being taught how to build up a better future for themselves in their own country.
Asked about the probability of revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in J-K, he said that AFSPA will automatically go the day there is no need for armed guards and paramilitary on roads.
Double Rush Expected This Year For Yatra: Army
Northern army commander Lieutenant General Upendera Diwedi Friday said that double rush of pilgrims for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra is expected this year compared to 2019.
He called for collective efforts for ensuing hassle free pilgrimage.
Speaking to media men on the sidelines of an event at Udhampur, the General officer Commanding (GoC-in-C) Lt Gen Upendera Diwedi said that the army remains deployed in the areas where Yatra takes place, throughout the year.
“We have set Standard Operating Procedure (SoPs) and Corps commanders in Kashmir have already met LG (Manoj Sinha). I have also met LG and discussed the preparations,” the GoC-in-C said.
He said that the endeavour is that no militant activity should take place anywhere from where the Yatra takes place.
“It is being expected that there will be a double rush of pilgrims compared to 2019. So all other stakeholders, including NGOs have to place a collective role to ensure smooth pilgrimage,” Lt Gen Diwedi said, adding that “the army has to play a role in medical emergencies and other quick responses during the pilgrimage.”
Asked about recovery of weapons left back by US and American forces in Afghanistan from militants in Kashmir, he said some weapons have been recovered.
“We are countering it effectively,” GoC-in-C said. About the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the top army officer said that the de-escalation process in the army is maintaining strategic patience and so far the situation is under control. “Negotiations are being held at top level,” he said.
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