400 terrorists still active in J&K: Army chief

NEW DELHI, Oct 13:
Security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved but vigilance is required as there are still 400 terrorists in the border State, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh has said.
The Army Chief said the proposal to raise a Mountain Corps along the Sino-India border was being “vetted” and expressed hope that it would approved soon by the Government.
“The situation in J&K and the Northeast has improved owing to the relentless operations carried out by the security forces. We need to remain vigilant.”
“We need to keep all enablers in place, especially when there are still around 400 terrorists in the State and intelligence reports allude to higher level of infiltration,” he said in an interview to ‘The Week’ magazine.
On the ongoing operations in Jammu and Kashmir, Gen Singh said security forces should “continue with intelligence-based operations while scrupulously upholding the law of the land and with utmost respect for human rights.”
Referring to the suggestion of forming a Mountain Corps, he said, “Our proposal is undergoing the process of vetting and validation. The proposal is being resubmitted and I am confident that it will soon get approved.”
As per its plans expected to cost over Rs 64,000 crore, Army wants to raise several new formations along the Sino- India border with increased artillery, armoured and other offensive capabilities.
To a question relating to deteriorating relationship between soldiers and officers in the Army, Gen Singh said in a large organisation, some aberrations do arise, but his focus was on identifying the causative factors for such aberrations and institute measures to obviate them.
“My talks to officers at various stations have essentially been focused on highlighting the causative factors for the aberrations and urging all unit and formation commanders to create conducive climate in their units and formation, besides ensuring strict adherence to unit routine that enables all ranks to intermingle during various parades,” he said, adding that it was extremely important for healthy interpersonal relations that officers and men rub shoulders during training and games parades.
“We need to get back to basics with regard to management of our units. It needs to be remembered that the most precious resource of the Indian Army is the soldier, who is at the heart and soul of our combat power,” Gen Singh said.
To a question, the Army chief accepted that the Army’s modernisation plan has not progressed as desired. “There has been slippage in capital procurement. Various bottlenecks in the existing procurement procedure are being streamlined,” he said.
On cases of transgressions from Chinese side, the Army chief said there were a few areas along the border where India and China have different perceptions of Line of Actual Control (LAC). Both sides patrol up to their respective perceptions of LAC, he said.
Due to perceived differences in the alignment of LAC, some minor incidents of local nature do occur, which are resolved amicably through the established mechanisms of hotlines, flag meetings and border personnel meetings, he added.  (Agenices)

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