Govt refuses Army’s claim of infiltration bid in Keran

NEW DELHI :  Amid questions over what happened during the long intrusion by infiltrators from Pakistan in Keran sector, Government has refused to accept claims of Army, saying there was no evidence on ground to suggest any infiltration bid.
At a high-level security meeting here recently, it was also felt that Army should fortify the “reception area” to trap militants who escape from the anti-infiltration grid– which extends 4 to 5 km on the Indian side from the Line of Control(LoC)– after they cross over, official sources said today.
The “reception area” is usually located at a place five km from the LoC which is set up by the Army to neutralise all those militants who manage to give a slip to troops at the border.
The meeting was of the view that the veracity of the much talked about infiltration bid from Pakistan, believed to be from its special forces, from Shalabhatu, a village split between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, was in doubt as evidence for the same was not available with any other agency., the sources said. Shalabatu village was one of the much used infiltration route in early 1990s.
The meeting, in which a representative of Army had also participated, also took into account the technical intelligence which apparently did not back up any claims made by the Army, the sources said.
The Army has already rejected all doubts expressed over the Keran operation and asserted that the troops on the ground were dominating the LoC and regularly approaching their own posts all the time. The Keran operation was called off nearly two weeks after it began in the last week of August.
During the security meeting, J and K police again highlighted the point that there were two major infiltration bids in other areas — Gujjar Dor and Fateh Gali– and not in Keran.
Army claimed in its FIR with state police that three militants were killed but handed over only two bodies, saying that the third could not be retrieved as it was lying on the LoC.
This prompted the state police to launch an investigation and shared its report at the meeting in which it said that on the intervening night of 4-5 October this year, a group of nine militants entered from Athmuqam side in PoK out of whom two were killed and seven others had managed to enter.
In the second incident, the Army in its FIR had said that four militants entered and were killed in Fatehgali, a place 30 km from the Keran area.
However, police said that during the incident, five militants had already managed to enter, the sources said.
Army’s claims about the Keran infiltration bid had come under scrutiny as it had claimed that nearly 30 militants had entered and had been encircled.
However, troops could not trace any militant or ammunition or tell tale signs of infiltration in the Shalabatu village of Keran, official sources said.
“Terrorists initially made a desperate infiltration bid in Shalabatu area, which was foiled by own troops. The survivors attempted to infiltrate from multiple points in adjacent areas in the same sector, like Gujjar Dor and Fatehgali, where they were engaged and eliminated,” Army had said in a statement. (AGENCIES)


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