Srinagar: Cloud cover, perilous terrain, and inefficacy of the technological counter-infiltration equipment in extreme weather conditions have enabled militants to sneak across the 800-km-long Line of Control (LoC) this year, a senior army official told Kashmir Reader.
Sharing a few details on why militants have been able to cross the LoC, the official, who wished not to be identified, said that militants mainly cross during extreme weather conditions.
“They mainly sneak through the mountains, deep gorges and dense forests,” the army officer said. “When clouds come down during extreme weather conditions, the militants usually take the cover of clouds to infiltrate. The conditions are such that you can’t see beyond one meter. We cannot have posts at a distance of every five meters. You can say the topography is such, it favours the militants in some places.”
According to details collected from police, 80 to 85 militants have crossed the LoC this year. Last year, the home ministry said 119 militants had crossed the LoC.
In a recent statement, the army said that it killed 190 militants in Kashmir this year, of whom 66 were killed along the LoC.
Another reason behind the successful infiltration bids, the official said, was that technological equipment like thermal sensors and other scrutiny instruments were ineffective during cloudy days and in winters.
“Many of the equipments like sensors do not work in low or sub-zero temperatures. So, we have to rely mainly on physical surveillance,” he said.
The army has deployed a wide range of sensors, integrated observation equipment, hand-held thermal image camera and unattended ground sensors to stop the movement of militants along the LoC.
The official said that militants cross the LoC in small groups to avoid detection.
“They do it to minimise the casualties,” he said. “If a large group is intercepted, it is obvious the casualties will be high.”
Recently, the JK Police had told a Delhi-based newspaper that the Gurez sector had emerged as the favourite route of infiltration, with 15 militants having managed to cross through that region.
Apart from Gurez, areas in Uri and parts of Handwara-Kupwara have been major routes of infiltration.
Despite repeated attempts, the army spokesman Lt Colonel Rajesh Kalia did not respond to calls.