Army chief tells troops to intensify vigil along LoC

“He was also briefed about operational and logistical preparedness of the troops. The army chief impressed upon all to remain vigilant and thwart any misadventure from across,” Kalia said.

Abid Bashir
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 2 2017 10:56PM | Updated Date: May 2 2017 10:56PM
Army chief tells troops to intensify vigil along LoCFile Photo

Army chief General Bipin Rawat Tuesday asked soldiers posted at forward posts along the Line of Control in Baramulla and Kupwara districts to ready themselves for challenges in the summer months “as inputs suggest infiltration and ceasefire violations may show a spurt.”

Srinagar-based defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said formation commanders briefed Rawat about the security situation along the LoC and measures instituted to strengthen security. 

“He was also briefed about operational and logistical preparedness of the troops. The army chief impressed upon all to remain vigilant and thwart any misadventure from across,” Kalia said. 

Colonel Kalia said General Rawat, who was accompanied by northern army commander Lt General D Anbu and 15 Corps commander JS Sandhu, lauded the role of army in maintaining peace in Kashmir.  

It was learnt that Rawat told troops to expect a “hot” summer ahead as “intelligence inputs suggest an increase in attempts by militants to enter Kashmir and ceasefire violations (by Pakistani troops).”

“Since there are known routes of infiltration in Baramulla and Kupwara, the chief asked us to maintain the highest level of vigil and to ensure all infiltration bids are foiled,” said an army officer posted in Baramulla. The officer said as many as 150 militants were waiting to sneak into Kashmir after the snow started melting on mountain passes.

 “The field commanders assured the chief about the robust counter-infiltration grid in place. At the same time he was told it isn’t possible to plug all infiltration routes given the tough terrain. But they assured him that militants, even if they succeed in crossing the border, will be eliminated before reaching the hinterland,” the officer said.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, militants made 364 infiltration attempts— 20-30 successfully, sources said— in 2016, the highest since 2013.

The Army chief, who arrived on a two-day visit to Kashmir yesterday, straightaway flew to Panzgam garrison in Kupwara district, which was attacked by fidayeen on April 26, killing three soldiers including a captain. Two of the three fidayeen were killed, while third was believed to have escaped into nearby woods. 

A 60-year-old civilian was also killed in army firing outside the garrison during a protests against army.