The Indian Army is taking measures to bring better technology and smart components to plug the porous terrain along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir for better results in stopping infiltration, a top Army commander said on Sunday.
General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt Gen JS Sandhu, said the Army has to deal with a “very difficult” terrain along the LoC, where the visibility is sometimes low and due to this terrorists manage to infiltrate.
“But I would like to assure that we are taking measures to plug the gaps along the LoC. Better technology is being brought into the counter-infiltration grid. Smart components are being brought. We will be able to achieve better success rate in counter infiltration,” Lt Gen Sandhu told reporters.
He was speaking to the media at a joint press conference with Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police SP Vaid, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Khan, General Officer Commanding, Victor Force, Major General BS Raju and IG CRPF (Operations) Zulfiquar Hasan.
Lt Gen Sandhu said the security forces were working on two lines of operation in the Kashmir Valley to end militancy. “We want the local terrorists to return to the mainstream.”
The top Army commander said that recently the security forces arrested two local militants from an encounter site.
“We pulled out a terrorist who was bleeding. We said we are not interested in the kill, and he was apprehended. We apprehended another near railway station Qazigund,” he said.
He, however, said, local militants should decide now to return to the mainstream and not become “proxies of Pakistan”.
“The local terrorist must realise that it is easy to call yourself a ‘mujahid’, but are you a mujahid or just a proxy for Pakistan?” he said, adding that their return to the mainstream would facilitate the return of peace to the Valley.
“We are ready to receive them in an honourable manner,” he said.
Asked about the challenges before the security forces in view of the slogans raised in support of militant Zakir Musa at funerals of terrorists, IGP Khan said “it does not matter”.
He said it showed the “leadership bankruptcy” of militant organisations.
The IGP said the main aim of the security forces was to give a chance to local militants to return to the mainstream.
“It is a huge effort by the jawans and officers in the field who have brought a turnaround in the situation. I wish very soon we can see the Valley free of violence,” he said. “That is our endeavour”.
Vaid said the state police would request Pakistan to claim the bodies of the six Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants killed yesterday in an encounter with security forces in Bandipora district.
“It is up to (Pakistan) to claim the bodies because the terrorists who were killed are also human beings. I would like their parents and their relatives to at least have the chance to see them for the last time,” he said.
CRPF IG Hasan said “we are in a phase where a lot of boys want to come back”. He referred to the recent surrender of footballer-turned-militant Majid Khan.
“We want to assure that anyone (from Kashmir), who has joined militancy is free to come back,” he said.
“We are getting feelers in this regard, but we also understand that some youths do not know how to return. I want to tell them that there is a helpline ‘Madadgaar’ (which they can contact),” Hasan said, adding that those who wish to return would not be harassed.