Rangreth (JK), Jun 6 (PTI): Army has put its troops along the LoC on alert to scuttle any infiltration attempt from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) with snow melting in the upper reaches opening mountain passes, a top Army commander said today.
“As temperatures go up and the snow starts melting, our neighbouring country Pakistan tries to push more and more terrorists into our land. But our army is alert (to scuttle the attempts),” General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 corps Lt Gen Om Prakash told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
He said alertness of the troops on the Line of Control (LoC) led to the killing of three militants who attempted to sneak into the Valley from across the border in north Kashmir a few days ago.
“Few days ago, we killed three terrorists who tried to infiltrate. So, we are alert and our surveillance is on so that we can stop infiltration,” the army commander said.
He said security forces were able to eliminate militants in the Valley with the help of the people and the day is not far when Kashmir will be completely peaceful.
“With the help of people of Jammu and Kashmir, we have fully succeeded in eliminating militancy in the state and time is not far away when Kashmir will be a heaven again,” Lt Gen Prakash said.
Referring to the annual Amarnath yatra which is scheduled to commence in south Kashmir Himalayas later this month, the Army officer expressed hope that the two-month pilgrimage to the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine will be conducted peacefully.
“We are happy that we have killed some top militants (in south Kashmir) during the last few weeks, which has given a huge setback to militancy. This will mean that there will be no hindrance in the Amarnath Yatra,” he said.
Lt Gen Prakash said Amarnath yatra is not just a pilgrimage but a means of livelihood for the people.
“Ponywallas, Taxi operators, hoteliers and other businessmen depend on it and any interference in the yatra will have a direct impact on the livelihood of people depending on it (yatra),” he said.
The army officer said security forces are focusing on eliminating militant leaders and strengthening of the intelligence network to achieve zero militancy in the state.
“The operations which we undertake now-a-days, we gather the maximum possible intelligence before the operation and target terrorist leaders. Because when we eliminate terrorist leaders, then terrorism automatically suffers a huge setback.
“We have changed our technique. Instead of deploying forces in huge numbers, we gather much intelligence and ours is a joint intelligence gathering mechanism along with police and intelligence agencies. We have made Terrorist Tracking Teams and with their help, we start the operations on specific targets,” he said.
He said this gives security forces a high rate of success and avoids collateral damage.
Earlier addressing a seminar “Kashmir and Kashmiriyat” at Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry regiment headquarters, Lt Gen Prakash said “Army is an upholder of sufism and we don’t differentiate between religions as we are secular.”