10:44 pm - Wednesday November 4, 2015

200 heavily armed militants waiting across LoC: Army

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Srinagar: Around 200 heavily armed militants were waiting across the Line of Control to infiltrate into the Indian side even as the security forces foiled several attempts by the ultras to sneak into Kashmir Valley following the recent floods.

“There are around 200 heavily armed terrorists across the Line of Control waiting to infiltrate into the Kashmir Valley,” Lt Gen Subrata Saha, the General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, told PTI.

He said that infiltrators from across the border tried to take advantage of the recent floods in the Kashmir Valley, but the army foiled their attempts.

He said that around 200 militants were still active in the entire Valley and the security grid of the army was in place to “neutralise” them.

“Even though we too suffered damage in the recent floods as more than 50 per cent of the cantonment area was inundated but we never allowed the security grid to weaken,” he said.Saha said that it was because of the ‘robust’ counter terrorism and counter insurgency grid in place that dreaded foreign militant Umar Bhat was recently killed in the Rajwar forest area of the Kupwara district.

Lt Gen Saha said that in the past ten days, several- cross border infiltration attempts were made, but the army foiled them in which five infiltrators were gunned down.

“Three infiltrators were killed in the Keran Sector and two were killed in the Machil sector in the last ten days,” Lt Gen Saha said.

Jammu and Kashmir has been hit by the worst-ever floods which have wreaked havoc in several districts and left 280 people dead.

Terming as “baseless” the allegations by “anti social elements” that priority was given to the VVIPs and outsiders during the rescue operations undertaken by the army after the floods hit Srinagar city, Lt Gen Saha said, “There was no way we could have distinguished an outsider or a local. Our priority was to save maximum number of human lives.

“We had to first save the people who were caught in the farthest points. We adopted a logical sequence of evacuation and first helped the people who were at a greater risk.”

He said that people involved in stone pelting on soldiers deployed in the relief and rescue operations had come from the unaffected areas to create trouble.

“The people who were marooned in the floods wanted to be saved and we saved them. The people who pelted stones on the army personnel deployed in the rescue operations were the ones who had come to create mischief from the area that were the least affected with the floods,” he said.

Lt Gen Saha said, that the ammunition depots were not affected by the recent floods, but “some relocation had to be made”.

“Some of our units suffered some damage in the floods, but the arms and ammunitions are safe,” he said.

To carry out the emergency relief and rescue operations in the civilian areas, a makeshift helipad was made operational inside the cantonment area, as the floodwater had rendered two main helipads inside the cantonment defunct.

“Our main helipads were submerged and to carry out the emergency relief and rescue work we had to make a makeshift helipad operational and within hours of the catastrophe the relief and rescue work began from here” he said.

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