200 militants waiting to cross Line of Control, says Army
Amid regular firing by Pak troops and spurt in intrusion bids from across the border, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the White Knight Corps Lt Gen KH Singh today said “150 to 200” ultras were waiting at various launch pads on the other side of the Line of Control (LoC) to sneak into the Indian side.
“But, let me assure you that our counter-infiltration grid is firmly in place and I can say with a lot of confidence that our troops are giving them a befitting reply and the troops would continue to do so. Our troops are highly motivated and any nefarious design of the enemy or the militants will be defeated squarely,” Lieutenant General Singh said after paying tributes to the fallen heroes on the 15th anniversary of ‘Kargil Diwas’ here.
“Ceasefire violations around this time generally increase because of the undergrowth (wild vegetation in monsoon) and then there is internal situation of Pakistan and coming Assembly elections in the state,” the GOC said.
“But it’s quite normal. Going by the number of ceasefire violations last year, the figures this year are almost the same. A marginal increase of three or four or so could be there,” he said.
“It has been a trend for the ultras to attempt intrusions from July onwards till the onset of winter,” Lieutenant General Singh said, adding that they (ultras) were definitely present in various launch pads to which the Army was fully alive.
The officer, however, said the ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops on the LoC under his jurisdiction were “normal”.
On the attack in the Akhnoor sector on July 22, in which a soldier Mongchon P of Nagaland was killed after “suspected ultras” breached the LoC and entered 700 metres inside the Indian territory, Lieutenant General Singh stopped short of calling it a Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) attack.
“I will not say whether it was a BAT or something (else), but yes in the Akhnoor sector there were two such incidents in the last two months, which I would say were possibly carried out by suspected militants and we are
taking adequate action,” he said.
On May 18 also, a soldier was killed in a suspected BAT attack in the Jogwan forward area in the Akhnoor sector.
When asked about the Pak army’s involvement in aiding these “suspected” ultras, the GOC said: “We can’t confirm or deny involvement of the Pak army, but we have reasons to believe that if they are serious than the Pakistan army can discourage such elements coming from across the border.”