Situation at LoC under control: GOC 15 Corps

Lt General B S Raju while addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Saturday. Photo: Mubashir Khan/ GK

General Officer Commanding 15 Corps, Lt General B S Raju, on Saturday said that ceasefire violations to aid infiltration were taking place on the Line of Control but the overall situation was under control.

“The situation on the LoC is under control. A few ceasefire violations are taking place which Pakistan is using to aid infiltration, but in those areas too the situation has been brought under control,” Gen Raju told reporters on the sidelines of a passing out parade at JAKLI Regimental Center Rangreth here.

He said that infiltration has been controlled to a large extent by a robust anti-infiltration grid at LoC. “We have been able to stop infiltration to a large extent this year,” he said. “Last year about 130 militants had infiltrated, but the number this year is less than 30 which is very less.”

“I hope because of it, the internal situation will become better as well,” he said.

The senior Army General said that on Saturday morning in the Keran sector, Pakistan tried to send across Kishanganga river four AK74 rifles and a huge cache of ammunition in a tube, but “our alert troops with the help of surveillance devices recovered the cache.”

“It signifies that there has been no change in Pakistan’s intentions. We will continue to foil their attempts in the future as well,” he said, adding that operations in hinterland are on and security forces continue to kill militants.

“This morning, a foreign militant and a local were killed. We have seen that wherever we kill a foreign militant, the area becomes peaceful,” he said. “Peace has been established to a large extent in the areas of Pulwama and Shopian because of the operations in the last two-three months.”

GOC 15 corps said that recruitment of local youth into militant ranks has picked up during the last over a month. “Recruitment had decreased in the last about six months, but has picked up again in the last month or so, but I see a ray of hope as several militants who had taken up the path of violence have surrendered,” he said. “We do not share details about it, but it is a good indicator.”

“We have been working on a policy for surrender and we have sent our recommendations, but, as of now, the policy has not been formalised,” the GOC said. “But, even in the absence of any policy, we have a system in which we own anyone who comes back.”

About 250-300 militants, Gen Raju said, were present at the launch pads across the LoC, “but we have been able to stop them despite their continuous attempts (to infiltrate).”

He said that the “problem in south Kashmir is a bit more than north.” “But it is under control. Around a month ago, the recruitment had increased, but it has come down in the last 15 days. I hope the youth will take the right path and this will decrease,” he said. “I do not see much difference in militant activities because of the harvesting season. I do not see any operational implication because of it.”

He said that Panchayat elections have been announced and they hope that people come forward to participate in the polls so that development comes to the area. “We will give any help that is required to conduct the polls in a peaceful manner,” he added.

He said that they have seen the reports in the media whether Pakistan is helping China or China is helping Pakistan. “We have no such indication. But, CPEC is in Pakistan, because of which there is the presence of China in Pakistan,” he said. “The military cooperation in terms of equipment is there, but we are not seeing any tactical help.”