Pak, militants trying to disrupt Yatra: GOC

GOC 15 Corps and DGP Police addressing a joint press conference in Srinagar on Friday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
GOC 15 Corps and DGP Police addressing a joint press conference in Srinagar on Friday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Massive operations on Yatra route
US made rifle, IEDs recovered
Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR Aug 2: The General Officer Commanding (GOC)15 Corps Lt Gen Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon today said that Pakistan army and terrorists, desperate to disrupt peace in Kashmir, were attempting to attack the Amarnath Yatra.
The Corps Commander said that a search operation is still on the twin routes of the Amarnath Yatra in south and central Kashmir. “A landmine with marks of a Pakistan ordnance factory and a U S -made rifle were among the cache of arms recovered from one of the yatra routes,” he said while addressing press conference.
“The highway and the foot tracks of the Amarnath Yatra are being searched thoroughly. The location will not be divulged as sanitization operation is on,” he said.
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He said that there were specific intelligence inputs that Yatra will be targeted. “Coming down to specifics, last 3-4 days, there were very specific and confirmed intelligence reports that terrorists backed by Pakistan and Pakistani army are trying to disrupt, target Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra which is going on, and based on which a thorough search on both the routes, along the southern route from Pahalgam side as well as the northern route from Baltal side was carried out by the joint teams of Army, CRPF and Jammu & Kashmir Police. The teams carried out the searches of the adjoining areas of both the routes, the highway as well as the foot track which leads up to the holy cave”, he said.
We have had some major successes during these searches. Some IEDs have been recovered and neutralized. Caches of explosives, ammunition and weapons have been recovered along these routes. While the searches are on, one weapon is here, which will be displayed to you and Pakistan army’s mine also, which has been recovered during these searches. The mine is being retrieved from the location as of now. There are clear signs on the mine which indicate that Pakistan army is involved in terrorist activities in Kashmir. I am clearly telling you that this will not be tolerated at any cost”, the GOC said.
“IEDs were emerging as a “pronounced” threat this year and one such attack was carried out on the Army in Shopian on Thursday, but no damage was reported. Around 10 IED attacks were carried out after the Pulwama attack in February last. However, one major IED expert, Munna Lahori, and many other such Pakistani experts had been neutralised this year”, Gen Dhillon said.
The GOC said that troops have adopted steps which are ahead of the tactics employed by terrorists. “There were IEDs which were manually operated and wire controlled. Now there is remote, time and temperature controlled IEDs. There are different mechanisms of initiation and we have also enhanced our capabilities in terms of preparation of new types of means to counter it or destroy it. Without divulging details, there are jammers which jam the frequency, there are pre initiatives which initiates the IEDs before the terrorist would do it. We generate these frequencies by various mechanisms. In addition, there are certain other things with us and of course the physical search in difficult areas like the yatra routes. All these things are employed to stay a step ahead of a terrorist”, he added.
The situation on the Line of Control (LoC) was normal. “However, launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) were full and bids made to push infiltrators in the Kashmir and Jammu sectors, including Pathankot and Jammu. These attempts have been thwarted. Even yesterday, an infiltration attempt was foiled in Kupwara. Three infiltrators were killed in Gurez on July 30,” he said.
The Corps Commander warned Pakistan against resorting to ceasefire violations. “The Army gave a befitting reply to such violations and silenced them in the Kupwara sector recently after unprovoked artillery shelling. We will retaliate very hard in such a situation,” he added.
The GOC said that Army will retaliate very hard against Pakistani ceasefire violations. “The Pakistan army started the artillery shelling in the morning of 30th July in an unprovoked manner. We did rise a hot message to Pakistan telling them that they have resorted to unprovoking artillery fire in the 15-Corps zone and we reserve the right to retaliate. We did retaliate and we will retaliate very hard”, he added.
“On July 30, three terrorists were eliminated on the Line of Control in Gurez Sector, in addition, previous to that, the last ceasefire violation was on March 12 in Uri Sector. On July 30, Pakistan army resorted to unprovoked artillery firing and which was retaliated and replied with in a befitting manner, thereafter they kept quite. In case they attempted again, it would again be replied better than the previous time”, he said.
“The terrorist leadership of all outfits especially Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar e Toiba, Jaish e Mohammad and Ghazwat-ul-Hind” is our main target, the GOC said.
“In the last 6-7 months, we have been able to eliminate most of the top leadership and the job is still in progress. In addition to the basic terrorist activities, IED threats and IED activities have increased over the last one year”, he said.
The GOC said: “Pulwama was one incident, even on today morning, an IED was attempted on one of our vehicles, however, no damage was caused. The point that I am trying to make is that, the threat of IED is more pronounced, and it is being perpetuated by the type of IED which are exploding, the type of material which we are capturing and the type of terrorists who were IED experts and were recently neutralized”.
“All these things are an indication that Pakistan desperate to disrupt the peace in Kashmir Valley and I can assure you on behalf of the team of security force, that this will not be allowed to happen and the designs of Pakistan and Pakistani army will be foiled at all costs. Nobody can disrupt the peace in Valley, this is the promise to awam (people) of Kashmir and to everyone in the nation”, the GOC said.
He asked women in the Valley not to allow their wards to indulge in pelting of stones. “Further, we have done an in-depth analysis of terrorism in Kashmir. 83 percent of people who pick up guns, the local terrorists, are having a record of stone-pelting. I want to tell all the mothers of Kashmir, that if your son is pelting stones on security forces, he is the future terrorists. Further, in 2019, 7 percent of terrorists were killed in just 10 days after joining the militancy. I am telling the mothers that if your son is joining the terrorism, there are many chances that he will be killed within the first 10 days. Nine percent of such people are killed within one month of their joining. 17 percent are killed within 3 months and 36 percent in 3 months and 64 percent of terrorists are killed within one year of their joining”, he said.
“There are fresh inputs that militants will upgrade violence. So the counter- insurgency grid and law and order components are being strengthened. The troop induction is also done to give rest to those who have been serving in the past nine months without rest. They have been busy conducting urban local bodies, panchayat and parliamentary elections. They require rest now,” he said.
Director General of Police, Dilabg Singh said that security forces have been focusing on very targeted outfits which mainly include JeM and LeT. “A number of leaders of these outfits who were surviving is very limited now. With regard to our CI operations, we have enabled to eliminate groups altogether. Al Badr is almost decimated, HM is demolished to a large extent, an overall number of active militants have come down and the number of active militants in Jammu region is 8 with the surrender of a militant in Kishtwar”, he added.
He said that another target is the support network of militancy on which the militants thrive. “Our second target was the terror support network because of which the militancy thrives and survives in the State. So, therefore, our strong action was against OGWs and a large number of OGWs was arrested and picked up”, he said.
“Further, we have also acted tough against the organizations that were resorting to unlawful activities like Jamat-e-Islami and JKLP. And their activists and leaders have been arrested under various sections of law”, said the DGP.
He said that on the ground, the security grid is all geared up to take care of any security threat or challenges. “Overall scenario in Jammu region with regard to militancy and law and order is very well under control. But there are a large number of ceasefire violations in Jammu region, so there is heightened activity on the borders. Anti infiltration teams are quite strong as they have foiled various such attempts of infiltration”, he said.
He said that they want the youth to come back to mainstream. “We have always welcomed the youth to our fold, we do not want any kind of harm should come their way, so, therefore, we have been encouraging them to come back, even in cases who have left their homes to join militant ranks. We have managed to get a lot of them home”, he said.
“We would also like the other militants who have joined recently, we would appeal to them also and request them to join their families back. With regard to the active militants, our operations are on and they will continue to be on. Recently, Munna Lahori was eliminated who was instrumental in IED blasts here. Fayaz Panzoo was also eliminated who was also involved in IED blast in Lethpora and Banihal. Therefore, as security forces, our efforts are on to make the situation even more peaceful”, the DGP said.