Srinagar: Claiming that 200 militants were active in the Valley, the army said Tuesday that Shopian like incidents will serve as a lesson to the security establishment and will make them take all the required precautions even in normal policing conditions.
“Incidents do happen. I want to tell you that we take lessons from every incident. We will take lesson from this incident as well. It is obvious that even when people go for normal policing, they will take precautions,” GoC 15 Corps Lt Gen Subrata Saha told reporters.
He was responding to a question whether there was a surge in militancy in the Valley.
“We would call it resurgence if the militancy had been zero. And you all know that it is not zero,” he said.
When asked if the killing of three unarmed policemen in south Kashmir’s Shopian district was a security breach or an act of negligence, the army general said the biggest lesson in the attack was that the time to cut down the guard with basic precautions has not come even while going for normal duties.
“The three policemen had gone to village for normal investigations. They were unarmed and had gone for normal policing. They were not on any counter terrorism or anti-militancy operation. They (militants) took advantage and attacked them,” said Gen Saha adding, “Investigations are going on and we are hopeful that all the agencies will jointly get those who have done it.”
While answering a question on infiltration, he said the higher reaches have heavy amount of snowfall, while snow has started melting along the lower heights and its adjoining nallahs, where army needs to be more vigilant now.
Asked about his take on AFSPA withdrawal, he said the state government and the government of India were considering the issue and that the army will give their opinion when required.
“So let them do their job, we will do our job on the ground,” he said.
When asked if Hizbul Mujahideen, the homegrown militant outfit was reviving its base in the Valley, the army commander said that revival happens if they had been decimated.
“Sometimes they do their operations, sometimes they succeed and sometimes when encounter break out damages are also caused. No one can decisively say if it is the revival or not. As far as these incidents are concerned, whosoever claims responsibility, and if no one owns it, all the agencies will jointly investigate it,” he said.
Replying to another question, Gen Saha said that according to army’s assessment, 200 militants were active in the Valley.
When asked by a reporter if the provisions of AFSPA were sufficient for army to curb the militant attacks, especially like the one in Mohra Uri, Gen Saha said that the provisions are adequate, and as the circumstances unfold, as the situation changes, army will keep updating.
“If you see the kind of weaponry that they were carrying, it is quite evident that they were looking for different kinds of targets. Because if you recollect, two shotguns were found. Shotguns are used not to cause death, but to injure people,” said Saha, while referring to the Mohra attack.
“And if you see the timing in which it was done, it was done in the middle of the elections. And the next round of elections were due in Baramulla that time. So, it is a chance encounter I think that took place with the army camp,” he said, adding “Of course they succeeded in causing losses to us we paid a huge price but all the six militants were eliminated.”