1150 militants in 17 training camps in Pak, PoK: Army Commander
Srinagar: Up to 1150
militants are in about 17 training camps in Pakistan and parts of Kashmir under
its occupation and about 325 ultras are at launch pads along the Line of
Control (LoC) waiting to sneak in, a top Army commander said here on Tuesday.
“As per our
intelligence inputs, there are about 17 terrorist training camps in Pakistan
and PoK put together. Out of that, nine are opposite the 15 Corps zone. Four
each in Manshera which is in Pakistan and Muzaffarabad.
“Total strength of
terrorists in these camps is anything between 1000 to 1150,” General Officer
Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 corps Lt Gen Satish Dua told reporters here. He
said that there are 23 different launch pads on the other side closer to the
LoC having strength of 315 to 325 militants waiting for opportunity to sneak
There is a bulge in the
militants in the launch pads because they are unable to get across, Gen Dua
said. “Whenever they have tried an infiltration bid, it has always been foiled
or the militants have been eliminated. So, what is happening is that their
numbers are swelling up but they are unable to get across,” the Army commander
Lt Gen Dua said the
militants have become desperate as their masters want them to do ‘something’. “So
much so that they are under pressure from their masters to do something and
several times they just try and sneak in and attempt is to just target either
civilian or military targets very close to the LoC and then go back,” he said.
About the trend of
infiltration bids by militants this year, the Corps Commander said attempts are
always there to step up such activities before summer season comes to an end
and the mountain passes close due to snow.
“This is nothing new.
Every year in summers when the passes are open, there is an attempt to
infiltrate. But with a very well coordinated multi-tier counter-infiltration
grid that has been placed by the army, all the infiltration bids have been
foiled. In fact, two militants have been captured,” he said.
On recruitment of youth
into the ranks of militants, Gen Dua said “there have been some recruitments
and we are aware of them. In fact, not only have there been recruitments, seven
of them have been caught, killed or have returned also. Some boys have even
returned back from the fold of militancy.”
Referring to the use of
social media by militants especially Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani,
he said they are doing so to grab news headlines. “They have not gone across
for training, they are not well-trained but they are grabbing the media
attention,” he said.
“Some misguided youth,
they are our children and are not from across, are getting enticed by this
radicalization... My word that I would like to put out through you our friends
in the media why only show stories about Burhan and others for youth get
enticed by them. There are other positive stories as well in Kashmir and are
getting lost. Maybe they are not getting you TRP ratings,” he said.
Lt Gen Dua said Army
will measure up to any challenge whenever the situation calls for. “We are
developing our own intelligence. One acknowledges the fact that they enjoy the
support of the locals and they are able to melt. It is not in the jungles. It
is difficult to carry out operations in congested village localities and
houses. So, they are using that space and we have to be very careful.
“For us, it is more
important that we do not cause collateral damage to the citizens. We do not
cause hardships to the citizens than to grab or kill or neutralize or capture a
couple of militants. Awam (people) is more important. We will get them,” he
The Army commander said
militants are using other routes to infiltrate into the valley out of
desperation because of the well-coordinated counter-infiltration grid.
Referring to the
mysterious killing of four militants and a former militant and his
three-year-old son in north Kashmir during the past fortnight, he said “I think
that some terrorist organizations do not tolerate dissent or rebellion.
“Their leaders even did
not care for the three young boys that have been killed as we saw (in Pattan).
We have not seen anything like a three-year-old boy killed anywhere whether
there is militancy or not. This is their internal matter,” he said.
On the claim of Hizbul
Mujahideen that its commander Fayaz Ahmad Bhat was killed by Army in an ambush
in Tangmarg area last week, he said Army did not kill him.
“Had he been killed by
security forces, we would have claimed credit for killing a terrorist in an
encounter. But we have not done it and people know that. They do not have to
see the statements. In Kashmir, people know everything,” he said.
On Human Rights, Lt Gen
Dua said the Army would not tolerate the HR violations. “Indian Army stand is
very clear. It has zero tolerance towards human rights violations. That is not
negotiable,” he said.
Referring to some
incidents where Army had mistakenly opened fire on civilians, he said some
incidents took place and it was accepted and regretted by the commanders. “The
due magisterial process is on and whatever is required will be done. But the
message to the soldiers down to the last jawan is very clear that HR violations
will not be tolerated,” he said.
He said the country is
celebrating the golden jubilee of 1965 war and the Army has chosen this day as
the war was terminated on Tuesday. “We want to celebrate the end of the war...
In valley this is the message that we want to give out. We are not for jingoism
and chest beating about victory. The idea is we have to honour those who took
part in the war,” he said. (With inputs from agencies)