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Infiltration along LoC has resumed: DGP

Infiltration along LoC has resumed: DGP
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Says 250 to 300 militants waiting at launch pads in Pakistan

Jammu: After initial ‘zero infiltration’ in the wake of renewed ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan in February, fresh attempts are on to push militants from across the border where 250 to 300 are trained and waiting on the launch pads, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said on Tuesday.
He also said that 57 cases have come to their notice where the local youth who had gone to Pakistan on valid documents for studies or tourist visas ended up becoming terrorists.
“The training camps and launch pads being run by Pakistan’s ISI and other agencies are full to their capacity. We generally assume the number of terrorists at such camps remains between 250 and 300 who are trained and ready for launching into Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh told reporters in the border district of Rajouri.
He said in the wake of February 20 ceasefire agreement reached between India and Pakistan, a period came when the infiltration from across the border dropped to zero and the cross-border shelling and firing also stopped completely which was welcomed at all levels, including by the border residents.
“Unfortunately, the infiltration from different launch pads has started once again over the past some time. We had three encounters in Rajouri-Poonch, including Dadal in Nowshera, Sunderbani and the recent Pangai (Thanamandi) and one in Bandipora. All these were fresh groups of infiltrators and we have information that the activity across the border is still on and there is a possibility of more such attempts (in future), the police chief said.
However, he said the security forces are fully alert to the threat and as impure actions (of Pakistan) is continuing, our border grid is working satisfactorily which led to the foiling of four infiltration attempts since July.
The DGP said four militants who had infiltrated from Machil-Gurez sector of north Kashmir were killed in Bandipora on July 23-24.
“They were launched from the Kail sector of Pakistan and as per our information, there were 14 more people when they were launched into this side, Singh said.
He said three to four groups crossed from Pakistan into Rajouri-Poonch sector and a joint search operation is on to track down the gunmen who managed to flee the three encounters in July and August.
“As per our assessment, three to four groups crossed into this side and some of them were neutralised in the first two contacts (in Nowshera and Sunderbani in July). Two more were eliminated in the latest encounter (in Thanamandi) on Friday last, while the search is on for two others who are believed part of the group,” he said.
He said there is a possibility of one more group which has managed to sneak into this side (Rajouri) and is believed to have either crossed into Shopian district of south Kashmir or still holed up in the region. The operation to track them down is on.
The DGP said a family from Shopian claimed that one of the two militants killed in Thanamandi was their son Rameez Ahmad who had gone to Pakistan some time back.
“We have taken the DNA sample and the things will get cleared once the report is received,” he said.
Singh said the infiltrating group comprised both local and Pakistani militants.
“In the Bandipora encounter, two each local and Pakistani militants were killed,” the police chief said.
Expressing concern over the local youth going to Pakistan on student or tourist visits and ending up becoming terrorists, the DGP said I think guns are given preference over pens in Pakistan and therefore, there is a need to strengthen our measures to give security clearance for Pakistani visas.”
“Many youths went to Pakistan on valid documents pertaining to student or tourist visas in 2017-18. We have come across 57 cases of such youth who got involved in terror activities and 17 of them were killed in encounters after infiltrating through the border,” he said.
Singh said they have gone there on valid passports but came back illegally after crossing the border along with arms after undergoing training there.
There are still 13 more such youths who have been identified and are active terrorists. The police chief said 17 more are still in Pakistan and we are watching their activities”.
“There was a talk about why strictness was imposed on travel to Pakistan This is the main reason for it. What type of atmosphere they come across in Pakistan and they become militants. It is evident we need to take strict measures and strengthen the security clearance system before giving student visas,” he said.
He said that desperate attempts by Pakistan are on to spread militancy to peaceful areas of the Jammu region but his force, along with other agencies, is alive to the threat and has foiled many such attempts in the past.
He also said that countermeasures have also been put in place to check growing drone activities from across the border in the Jammu region to drop weapons, narcotics, cash and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) besides the bombing of the airfield last month.
“We are keeping a tight vigil as a result of which we have foiled 50 per cent attempts to smuggle weapons, narcotics and IEDs dropped through drones (in different parts of Jammu). The people who were involved in such activities (smuggling of weapons and narcotics) were not directly involved in militancy earlier but now they are being found directly involved,” Singh said.
Terming the use of drones to drop two bombs on Indian Air Force station, Jammu on June 27 as “shameful attack”, the DGP said police, Army and paramilitary forces have taken countermeasures on the ground to thwart such type of conspiracies.
“They will continue with their conspiracies but we are determined to foil their plans,” he said.
Responding to a question about growing militant activities in Jammu this year, he said the alertness of the police and other security agencies has thwarted attempts by terrorists to spread their tentacles to peaceful areas of the Jammu region.
“The information (gathering) system of police is stronger than previously. We have worked on weak points and strengthened our security grid comprising border grid, highway grid and district grid. All these three grids are working satisfactorily and did not allow a foothold to those planning to spread terrorism to this region, he said.
Asked about the recovery of over Rs 2.81 lakh hawala money in Poonch district, the police chief said the efforts are on to completely choke the funding of militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Terrorist funding has been going on for a long time. Our effort is to choke this funding,” he said and referred to raids conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against banned Jamaat-e-Islami members at 56 locations across Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.
He said strict action is being taken against anyone found supporting terrorism with money or something else.
“We have recovered Rs 1.5 crore from Handwara which was generated through Narcotic smuggling to finance terrorism. We have blocked many channels financing militancy,” Singh said.


Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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