250 militants ready to infiltrate from Pakistan: Army

Bhatt said that there will be more infiltration attempts in the winter months but the Army is ready to counter them. PTI file photo for representation.

Stating that there will be more infiltration attempts in the winter months, the Army on Saturday revealed that more than 250 militants were ready to infiltrate into this side of the Line of Control (LoC) at various launch pads in Pakistan.

“More than 250 militants are ready to infiltrate into this side of LoC (from Pakistan) but our soldiers are ready to foil their attempts,” Corps commander of Srinagar-based 15-Corps Lieutenant General AK Bhatt said during a public function in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

He also said that there will be more infiltration attempts in the winter months. “…but our forces are vigilant to foil all these attempts,” the army commander said.

General Bhatt put the number of active militants in Kashmir valley at around 300, including fresh recruits. He said that people in south Kashmir should take a lesson from people in north Kashmir “who haven’t sheltered any militant outfit.”

“From 1947, these people (north Kashmir) have given us full support, we will try our best to help these people and recruit more and more boys from this area,” he said.

The four districts of south Kashmir – Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag – have emerged as the hotbed of a new wave of localised militancy in the last four years. The region has been witnessing repeated militant attacks on security forces in the recent months. According to unofficial estimates, there are 125-150 militants active in south Kashmir, most of whom are locals.

Asked about the security preparations for the upcoming Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat elections, General Bhatt said, “With the help of police and CRPF, our soldiers are working round the clock to make the election successful.”

The first phase of ULB polling will be undertaken on October 8, followed by second phase on October 10, third on October 13 and the fourth and final phase on October 16. Counting of the votes will be taken up on October 20.

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