More reports on: Defence general

Army prepares for a long haul, evacuates border villages

29 September 2016

The Indian Army today started evacuating border villages of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab following the brief surgical operation inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to neutralise terror launch pads across the LoC.

Villages in Attari sector in Jammu and Kashmir have been evacuated and additional BSF troops have been moved into these areas, according to reports.

The centre has asked the state government in Punjab to evacuate people within 10 km from the border. Schools in the border areas have also been asked to remain shut until further orders.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal over telephone today to request him to speed up the evacuation process.

People from the border districts of Ferozepur, Fazilka, Amritsar, Taran Tarn, Gurdaspur and Pathankot are being evacuated in an operation coordinated by the DGP and concerned deputy commissioners (DCs) and senior superintendents of police.

The evacuation is being carried out after India carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across LoC

In the first such action, the Army said, its special forces inflicted "significant casualties" on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Sharing details, DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said the operations were basically focused "to ensure that the terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carrying out destruction and endangering the lives of citizens of our country."

"During these counter terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who are trying to support them. The operations aimed at neutralizing the terrorists have since ceased. We do not have any plans for continuation of further operations. However the Indian armed forces are fully prepared for any contingency that may arise," he said.

The DGMO said he had spoken to the Pakistani Director General of Military Operations and explained India's concerns and also shared with him details of the operation.

The announcement of the sudden action by the Army to prevent fresh terror attacks comes 11 days after Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM struck on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir killing 18 soldiers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the attackers will not go "unpunished" and that the sacrifice of 18 jawans will not go in vain.

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