200 armed militants set to fish in troubled Kashmir waters: Army

20 September 2014

Around 200 heavily armed militants (presumably Pakistan-based) are waiting across the Line of Control to take advantage of the flood havoc in Jammu & Kashmir to penetrate into the Indian side, according to local Army authorities.

The security forces have already foiled several attempts by the extremists to sneak into Kashmir Valley following the recent floods, according to Lt Gen Subrata Saha, the General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps,

"There are around 200 heavily armed terrorists across the Line of Control waiting to infiltrate into the Kashmir Valley," Gen Saha told PTI.

He said while several infiltration attempts had been blocked, around 200 militants were still active in the 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, 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.

He said that in the last 10 days, several cross-border infiltration attempts were made, during which five infiltrators were gunned down.

"Three infiltrators were killed in the Keran sector and two were killed in the Machil sector," the general said.

Jammu & Kashmir has been hit by the worst floods in 60 years, 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 'VVIPs' and outsiders during the rescue operations undertaken by the Army in the summer capital of Srinagar, Lt Gen Saha said, "There was no way we could have distinguished an outsider from 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 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 had come to create mischief from the areas that were the least affected by the floods," he said.

Saha said the ammunition depots were not affected by the floods, but "some relocation had to be made".

He added, "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."

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