Militants may try to disrupt polls: Army

Moazum Mohammad
Srinagar: Army Monday claimed it had inputs that militants may try to disrupt the Assembly elections which are beginning in the state from Tuesday.
“We have inputs of different districts and tehsils and we are working on those inputs. They are generally in line with what has been coming in past. We are keeping track of it and we are prepared to deal with the situation,” General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps Lt Gen Subrata Saha told reporters here.
Replying to a query about security of Panchayat members, Gen Saha said they were aware about the “soft targets” and that the security grid is collectively taking responsibility to ensure their safety.
“We are conscious of requirement of security to ‘soft targets’ and it’s a responsibility which is being taken collectively by all security forces including police, CRPF which are looking for poll-related activities. Army is there to provide environmental security,” Gen Saha said, while displaying the arms army claimed were recovered from Kupwara district.
The weapons seized include 18 AK-47 rifles, five pistols , one sniper rifle with a magazine and five rounds, two pistols with four live rounds and two under barrel grenade launchers (UBGL) along with 23 UBGL grenades. As many as 18 hand grenades, six rocket projectile guns (RPG), two disposable rocket launchers, two radio sets and two mortar bombs were also recovered during the operation in near Line of Control in Keran sector, the army added.
Gen Saha said that a “trend was noticed along LoC to push in arms and IEDs in the Valley and new recruits were being pushed forward to launch attacks on the security grid.”
“In the last one month, we have noticed that there is a desperate bid to push in arms and IEDs. We averted a catastrophic situation by recovering four IEDs near LoC. There is a tendency to put forward young recruits to carry attacks while militant leadership remains behind because of robust security grid in place.
“129 militants were neutralized this year as compared to previous year’s record of 89. Similarly, 86 militants were killed till date as compared to last year’s 62 and the number of militants killed in counter infiltration has been substantially higher,” he said.
The army commander said that there is “grassroots level” coordination with police in the Valley and several interactions were held at in north, south and central Kashmir.