Poonch: A top Army commander on Tuesday said counter-drone equipment has been deployed at different places in Jammu and Kashmir to check airdropping of weapons and drugs from across the border.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi said the security agencies have also identified all the places where weapons are being dropped to ensure that militants, who are running short of arms, do not get hold of the weapons.
“Drone is an evolving technology and in the coming days, you will see action from both sides — they (Pakistan) will try to send drones (with weapons and drugs), we will deploy counter-measures using technology,” the Army commander told reporters here on the sidelines of a programme to mark the platinum jubilee of the historic “Poonch Link-up Day”.
The platinum jubilee of the Poonch Link-Up Day, commemorating the “Operation Easy” conducted by the Indian Army in 1948 to defend the border district from the invading Pakistani raiders, was celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervour by the people of Poonch and Army personnel.
Lt Gen. Dwivedi said militants are present in Jammu and Kashmir but despite planning to carry out an operation, they are not able to strike due to a shortage of weapons.
“We have installed counter-drone equipment at different places and are also looking at those places where drones were used to drop weapons. We have earmarked those places and are taking appropriate action so that terrorists cannot get the weapons,” he said.
Sending a strong message to youngsters in the valley, Lt Gen. Dwivedi said they have to come forward and support the Army, which is doing its best to ensure a bright future for them.
“I want to tell the Kashmiri youth that whatever is here is meant for them and we will continue with our efforts for your bright future. You have to come forward and extend your support in this endeavour,” the Army commander said.
He added that nobody benefitted by joining militant ranks over the last 30 years.
“There is no development across the border and see for yourself how India is marching ahead and is going to head G20,” Lt Gen. Dwivedi said.
He said 35 per cent of those recruited by militant outfits are below the age of 20 years and 55 per cent are aged between 20 and 30 years.
“We have to focus on the education and upbringing of the youngsters, provide them an opportunity to move out and see the development in different parts of the country,” he added.
The Army has already sent 1,800 students from Jammu and Kashmir to different states for education, Lt Gen. Dwivedi pointed out.
Earlier, remembering the supreme sacrifice of the soldiers and citizens of the region while defending Poonch, Lt Gen. Dwivedi, Lt Gen. Manjinder Singh, GOC, White Knight Corps, and other senior military and civil dignitaries laid a wreath at the Namansthal War Memorial.
The residents of the area, including a large number of serving and retired Army personnel, members of the civil administration and students, were present on the occasion.
“Poonch withstood a siege by Pakistanis from November 1947 till relieved by the Indian Army. The day marks the historic link-up carried out by Brigadier Pritam Singh’s forces with Brigadier Yadunath’s forces from Rajouri at Danna Ka Pir on November 21, 1948,” a defence spokesperson said.
Lt Gen. Dwivedi interacted with Veer Matas, Veer Naris, heroes of the 1965 and 1971 wars, along with the winners of sports events, school students and beneficiaries of an artificial limbs fitment programme.
He expressed his gratitude to the locals for their contribution in bringing peace in the region, which the Army could not have achieved without their support.
“The Army and the civil administration are conscious of the remoteness of the area and hardships of the people, and it is our moral obligation to provide succour,” the Army commander said.
He appreciated the overwhelming response and support from the people and all troops of the Poonch Brigade under the Ace of Spades division of the Army to make the Poonch Link-Up Day a grand success. PTI