SRINAGAR: The army said on Sunday that a “strong intelligence network” has helped it to kill a number of militants along the Line of Control, which in turn has not allowed the militancy to regain a foothold in the rest of the Valley.
General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt General Satish Dua told reporters that compared to 15 years ago, the number of militants crossing to this side from across the border has reduced to a trickle.
He said because of the treacherous terrain along the LoC, a few militants do manage to cross the Line but due to “counter infiltration grid and army’s alertness”, the army has “successfully trapped the militants in the reception area (the area close to the LoC)”.
“In 2015, there were more than 600 inputs of infiltration. However, because of the counter infiltration grid and army’s alertness along the LoC we have been able to limit the numbers. At this time less than 100 militants are waiting at the launching pads across the LoC to infiltrate to this side,” he added.
Dua was talking to reporters at the 15 Corps headquarters where the army paid a floral tribute to two of its soldiers killed in a gunfight with five militants, who also died, in Chowkibal area of Kupwara district on Saturday.
In the past one month, 12 militants have been killed in the Valley. Dua said a spike in the gunfights should not be construed as a rise in militancy.
Lashkar or Jaish?
Although police and army carried out the Chowkibal operation together, they differed on the outfit to which the five militants belong.
Dua said the militants belong to Lashkar-e-Toiba and all were foreigners, a euphemism for Pakistanis. He said it is yet to be ascertained whether the militants had crossed the LoC recently.
Kupwara superintendent of police Aijaz Ahmad Bhat had said on Saturday that the militants belong to the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JM) outfit and had recently crossed the line of control (LoC).
However, Dua said the JeM has been nearly eliminated from the Valley and it won’t have more than two militants currently.