Won’t allow any infiltration on LoC during winter: Hooda

Sanjeev Pargal

Lt Gen D S Hooda

JAMMU, Nov 22: General Officer Commanding (GOC) 16 Corps Lt Gen D S Hooda said today that the Army was fully geared up not to allow any militant to infiltrate into the Indian territory from the Line of Control (LoC) in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch notwithstanding the fact that a large number of them (the militants) were planning to intrude into this side for the past quite sometime.
“The militants have been planning to infiltrate. There is no denying the fact. The militants are camping across the LoC on Pakistan side and would definitely like to take advantage of adverse weather conditions during the winter to sneak into this side. However, our troops are determined not to allow any ultra to infiltrate,’’ Gen Hooda told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Poonch town to celebrate 65th Poonch Link Up Day.
Reiterating that there could be about 300 militants across the LoC awaiting infiltration into this side, the Army Commander admitted that the militants would definitely make attempts to intrude into this side in the winter when the weather is adverse and visibility is reduced to zero. However, he added that the Army jawans on the LoC have put the winter strategy in place and were keeping very high alert to ensure that no infiltration attempt was successful.
The Army had reports that Pakistan was planning to infiltrate militants into Jammu and Kashmir ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the State to disrupt the polls and create trouble for political parties. In their attempts, Pakistan Army and militant commanders of different outfits were assisting the ultras, who were camping at the launching pads on Pakistan side with a view to infiltrate into this side.
Lt Gen Hooda said the Army has equipped the soldiers on the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts with all infrastructure required for the winter to counter the infiltration attempts and keep it to zero level like previous months of this year.
“Despite all out efforts, we have not allowed the militants to succeed in infiltration attempts. A lot of efforts were made, a lot of intrusion attempts were made, some of which had backing from across the LoC but our troops foiled all of them,’’ he added.
Asserting that terror infrastructure was intact in Pakistan and there were no two opinions about it, the GOC White Knight Corps (16 Corps headquartered at Nagrota) said: “it was difficult to exactly give number of the training camps being run in Pakistan for the militants. However, definitely there were camps in Pakistan, which were training the militants to push them into India including Jammu and Kashmir to create terror strikes’’.
Replying to a question on ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army, Lt Gen Hooda said: “we had given very effective response to Pakistan Army when they had violated ceasefire on the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts in the months of August and September this year and the response would be same if they violate the ceasefire again’’.
Asserting that troops were on high alert on the LoC, the Army Commander said they had been given the clothing to feel that the months of December and January were like May and June for them.
“There would be no impact of winter on our Army jawans. We have taken full care of them. As far as infrastructure was concerned, it was also in place to ensure visibility during dense fog and snowfall to identify the infiltrating militants and neutralize them well in time,’’ he added.
Earlier, the people of Poonch along with Poonch Brigade celebrated the 65th Poonch Link Up Day with characteristic gaiety today. The celebrations commemorated the historic link up carried out by Brig Pritam Singh’s forces and forces from Rajouri at Danna Ka Pir on November 21, 1948.
Poonch Link Up Day is celebrated every year by the people of Poonch to commemorate the link up between Brig Pritam Singh’s forces and the forces advancing from Rajouri near Poonch.
The entire town of Poonch was immersed in festivities celebrating the Link Up.  Participation of the people of Poonch in large numbers including school children and reliving of the historic occasion of Poonch Link Up involving the military and civil administration at Pritam Stadium displayed the exemplary bonhomie between military and civilians of Poonch, which has always been the leading example of the military-civil jointmanship, a legacy started by none other than Brig Pritam Singh, who is aptly called as the ‘Saviour of Poonch’.

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