India

‘Strength of terrorists in Kashmir valley lowest in decade’: Top army commander

Lieutenant General BS Raju, the General officer in Command of the Chinar Corps in Kashmir, said on Sunday that the present strength of terrorists in the Valley is lowest in the last decade. He also accused Pakistan of instigating the youth from Kashmir valley into terrorism by various means.

“Terrorists’ recruitment in 2020 was fairly in control, especially when compared to 2018. The present strength of terrorists in the Valley is 217 which is lowest in the last decade,” Lt Gen Raju told news agency ANI.

“Pakistan remains the key instigator to push youth towards terrorism by various means. It has attracted many youths for studies. But along the way, a few have been indoctrinated. Some of them have trained and sent back through the Line of Control (LoC) as part of infiltrating columns as well as through the international border. Terrorists from Pakistan target our security forces and civilians within the Valley in crowded areas,” he further said.

The Army officer said that India has been able to reduced infiltration by over 70 per cent in comparison to last year. “On the LoC, we remain in full control and are prepared for all contingencies,” Lt Gen Raju said.

He said that the Pakistan’s desire to send weapons and drugs through drones and tunnels is definitely a challenge. On Wednesday, Indian security forces discovered a tunnel built by Pakistani security officials – second such tunnel to be discovered since November – in the Kathua district near the Zero Line.

The three-feet wide tunnel was constructed at a depth of 25 to 30 feet.

On Army Day on January 15, Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane had said that 300 to 400 terrorists were present in terror training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and waiting to sneak into India.

He said the army’s operations along the LoC not only caused heavy losses to the enemy but also thwarted a large number of infiltration attempts. He said the army killed a total of 200 terrorists at the LoC and in counter-terror operations in the hinterland.

He also gave a blunt message to China, saying India was committed to resolving the situation along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) through talks but no one should test India’s patience.

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