Wuzur( Anantnag): General Officer Commanding 15 Corps, Lt General DP Pandey on Thursday said that 11 hardcore militants were killed in different operations during the last five days, while present infiltration numbers are far lesser compared to those witnessed during the previous years.
“In the last about five days, the security forces have carried out multiple operations across the valley resulting in 11 hardcore terrorists being neutralised. Last night, in two separate operations, six terrorists, including two Pakistani terrorists, of JeM cadre have been neutralised in Kulgam and Anantnag,” GOC told reporters here.
“During the operation, we have lost a brave soldier, Sepoy Jasbir Singh. As the operation was being conducted in very heavily built-up areas, while evacuating civilians, we had two Army personnel and one JKP personnel suffering gunshot wounds. They are all stable as of now,” Lt Gen Pandey said.
Lt Gen Pandey said that recruitment of local youth in militant ranks has recorded a decrease. “The numbers this year have reduced in terms of recruitment. There is a very interesting trend which is coming to light that the senior youth – aged beyond 20, 21 – are not joining the ranks,” he said. “Having found it difficult to recruit from this rank, so, they have started recruiting young boys who are in the age of 15-16.”
The second trend, he said, which is coming out is that they are no more proud of themselves for picking up weapons, so they are not declaring the names. “Whosoever is joining is hiding his identity. It was very clear and evident in a recent operation which came into the spotlight for various reasons that all the family members belonging to that OGW network or the local terrorist came out in the open and claimed innocence,” he said. “Today, I feel that the society does not want to accept OGW and terrorists into their houses or in the proximity,” Lt Gen Pandey said.
GOC 15 Corps said that the majority of the operations conducted this year have been based on human intelligence. “I think we have been able to breach that mark of 200 this year, the numbers have come down to 180 which is something very different,” he said. “We still have about two days to go. Let’s hope the numbers are further brought down.”
He said that local militants are refusing to carry out operations. “What is also happening is that the local terrorists are now refusing to carry out the operations,” he said adding that that is another challenge that they are facing. “Therefore, Pakistani terrorists are now coming to the fore to lead operations. As they will emerge from the heights, from the cover, and they will carry out operations, they will get neutralized,” Lt Gen Pandey said.
About the prevailing situation along LoC, Lt Gen Pandey said that the situation on the LoC is “absolutely fine”, while the ceasefire is holding and the people have gone about their routine activities, they are pretty happy on either side of the LoC.
“But, the launch pads continue to be filled. There are inputs of attempts to take place in the winters as well. But, I can assure you that we are fully ready for any such eventuality to ensure that no infiltration takes place,” he said. “If any does take place, we will be neutralising them the way the operations are being conducted in the hinterland.”
Replying to a question on militant recruitments, Lt Gen Pandey said it has gone down. “Compared to the last two years, the numbers are down. Last year, it was more than 180. It shows there is an awakening in civil society,” he said, adding that people have realised the “futility of taking up violence”.
“They understand what is happening from across. There is awareness that is coming out. We should look at it positively and I am sure the way the civil population is helping us out to neutralise these terrorists and also they are enabling us to break the cycle of violence,” he said. “I am sure we will see greater peace and a lesser number of terrorists coming out to join the ranks in the next year or so.”
“Infiltration will happen, but it has been controlled. This year, the infiltration numbers are far lesser as compared to previous years,” Lt Gen Pandey added.