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India rejects Pak denial on incursion
Says firm on maintaining LoC sanctity; PM meets Chiefs of three Services
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
Determined to dislodge a band of armed intruders in J&K’s Keran sector — prolonged operations against which entered the 14th day — India on Monday rejected Pakistan’s denial issued by its High Commissioner Salman Bashir yesterday that any such intrusion had taken place from across the border.

New Delhi has made it clear that its armed forces are determined to maintain the sanctity of the Line of Control in the face of one of the biggest intrusions in recent years.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said New Delhi had repeatedly emphasised that maintaining the LoC sanctity was of primary importance. “Our armed forces are currently undertaking appropriate and necessary measures...we have full confidence in their abilities to address challenges posed to them. We will await the outcome of their efforts,” he said. New Delhi is upset with Bashir’s statement made in Hyderabad, describing as “baseless” incursions into India from the Pakistani territory.

New Delhi’s sharp response came on a day when security forces busted a militant hideout on the outskirts of Baramulla district in J&K and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition. Also on Monday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met the Chiefs of the three Services at his residence and is believed to have discussed, among others issues, the operation to flush out militants in the Keran sector. Sources though described the meeting as a routine.

Asked when the Director Generals Military Operations (DGMOs) from the two sides would meet to resolve the issue, the MEA spokesman pointed out that the two officials usually talk to each other on the phone on Tuesdays. “The issue of when they will meet depends on their talks,” he said.

The spokesman referred to talks between the Prime Ministers of the countries recently on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly over ways to reduce tension along the LoC.

New Delhi has repeatedly emphasised that maintaining the LoC sanctity was of primary importance. This was re-emphasised when the two PMs had met.


Bashir’s remark upsets india

  • The government rejected Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir’s statement on Sunday denying any intrusion from the Pakistani soil into Indian territory
  • New Delhi is quite upset with his statement made in Hyderabad
  • However, New Delhi is not considering any diplomatic move on the issue at this stage
  • The govt would like the armed forces to evict the terrorists first







A hundred militants fighting the Army?
Majid Jahangir/TNS

Srinagar, October 7
Nearly 100 militants are believed to be fighting the Indian Army in north Kashmir’s Keran sector where they have made fresh advances after two weeks of fierce gunfights. Top sources say this has added a dangerous dynamics to the fighting, which is one of the longest battle in the region since the 1999 Kargil war. “The only option now is to use Air and ground force together to gain the lost ground,” said a top source.

Earlier it was believed that there were 30-40 militants. The sources now maintain that nearly 100 militants backed by Pakistani special forces are believed to fighting the Army inside Indian territory at multiple points in the five-km stretch along the Line of Control in the sector. Sources said the fierce gunfight is taking place at four to five points where the militants are giving stiff resistance to the Army.

“The gunfight which was confined between the fence and the LoC is now taking place well within our territory. The way they are fighting shows that the supply line of militants is intact and they are backed by the Pakistani special forces,” he added.

The sources, however, said that militants had, in early September, occupied the huts in Shalabhato, a village near the LoC which was abandoned by the residents in early 1990s. The 20 Kumao regiment had informed the Army headquarters about this large-scale incursion. In fact, it was after the unit informed the Army headquarters about the large infiltration that they were shifted from the sector.

“And when a unit of 3/3 Gorkha Rifles on September 24, launched a search to flush out the militants in Shalabhato, the large number of hiding militants opened fire on the troops. In the initial gunfight, Army said, they noticed bodies of 12 militants lying at the encounter site,” the sources said. “Since then Army has not been able to recover any body from the site,” he added

The sources said that it was possible that militants might have pulled these bodies back to the PoK. However, Army’s top Kashmir Commander Lt Gen Gurmit Singh had said recently that it was unlikely to have happened.


Militants make fresh advances

  • Militants have made fresh advances after two weeks of fierce gunfights
  • Are fighting the Army at multiple points inside Indian territory over a
    5-km stretch along the LoC
  • Sources say they are backed by Pakistani special forces
  • The supply line of militants is in tact
  • In early September, the militants occupied huts in Shalabhato village, which was abandoned by the inhabitants in early 1990s

The only option now is to use air and ground force together to gain the lost ground — An Army source





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