Army foils LeT infiltration bid
Tribune News Service
Srinagar/New Delhi, March 25
The fierce encounter at Kupwara, that lasted for five days, signals stepped-up terrorist activities from across the border, warned Army chief General Deepak Kapoor on Wednesday. He said Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Toiba, was attempting ‘the biggest push’ to infiltrate around 300 terrorists across the Line of Control into India.
Pakistani troops have been firing throughout last night at Indian posts in Uri sector, apparently to give cover to militants crossing over. The arms, ammunition and the sophisticated communication equipment recovered from the 17 militants killed in the encounter at Kupwara, said General Kapoor, also indicated the involvement of official agencies in Pakistan.
The Army has recovered 23 AK assault rifles, one pistol, four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers, 19 UBGL grenades, two hand grenades, two global positioning systems and 10 radio sets at Kupwara.
The encounter, which began on March 20, lasted five days and claimed the lives of 17 militants and eight security personnel.
Brigadier General Gurmeet Singh said in Srinagar that the terrorists couldn’t have accessed the weaponry without state backing. “The operation is still in progress. The majority of the terrorists have been killed. However, those who might have escaped, will also be eliminated,” said the Brigadier General.
All martyrs, including Major Mohit Sharma and jawan Shabir Ahmad Malik, were laid to rest in Jammu and Ganderbal in north Kashmir.
In New Delhi, the Army chief said 40 to 50 terror camps were operational on the other side of LoC in Pakistan, camps which kept shifting their locations. More terrorists were waiting to infiltrate once the conditions get conducive for crossing over.
On the highly sophisticated communication equipment used by terrorists during the encounter, the Army chief said, “Obviously they were contacting their handlers on the other side.” He added that the terrorists had received a fairly high level of training, which became obvious after the Mumbai attacks.
Asked why it took the Army so long to eliminate the terrorists in Kupwara, the Army chief said, “ In such a terrain where there is still snow, passes are still closed and reaching outlying areas is difficult, we killed 17 terrorists and recovered arms and equipment that indicate how well-prepared they were. It was a high-risk operation and in the event our boys did quite well.”