SRINAGAR: With the number of local terrorists coming down, the foreign terrorists are now getting exposed in Kashmir, Lieutenant General Devendra Pratap Pandey, General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the Army’s 15 Corps said on Monday.
Talking to the media persons on the sidelines of an event in Srinagar, Lt Gen Pandey explained the reason behind recent encounters with the Pakistan-based terrorists in the region.
“Initially they (the foreign terrorists) were putting local youth as the face of terrorist activities and terrorism. But as the number of local terrorists started drying down, they are now slowly getting exposed as they are compelled to come out of their respective hiding places and anonymity to carry out strikes,” Lt Gen Pandey said.
Lt Gen Pandey also said that there had been only one attempt of infiltration so far this year and which was not successful. “This year only one infiltration attempt was made from across the border and it was foiled. Since then there has been no major attempt,” he said. He also added that there have been reconnaissance attempts.
Reacting to former Army chief General MM Naravane’s comment that there has been a rise in incidents of military equipment from Afghanistan being seized in Kashmir, Lt Gen Pandey said, “There were equipment and weapon systems which have been used in other parts of the world and they have found their way inside Kashmir in lesser numbers.”
In February, Major General Ajay Chandpuria, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 19 Infantry Division stationed in Baramulla had said that high tech modern weapons and advanced night vision devices left behind by Americans in Afghanistan are now finding their way to the Indian Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir via Pakistan through the Line of Control (LoC).
Lt Gen Pandey acknowledged that it is indeed a challenge to stop the flow of arms but he said that the Indian Army is ready for it. “It is definitely a challenge. But we have also changed our rules of engagements and procedures to contest that point,” he said. “It is not a big challenge,” he quickly added.
Lt Gen Pandey also flagged the issue of recovery of Aadhaar cards from two foreign terrorists killed in a recent encounter. “This is indeed a challenge. If a person comes out during a live encounter, having a valid Aadhaar card, it is difficult to challenge him,” he pointed out. However, Lt Gen Pandey is hopeful to overcome the problem.
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