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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Dec 2014

Antony to review 15-day Keran operation

PTI  New Delhi, October 20, 2013
First Published: 14:37 IST(20/10/2013) | Last Updated: 14:40 IST(20/10/2013)

Defence minister AK Antony will hold a high-level meeting with the armed forces later this month during which he is expected to review the 15-day Keran operation by the army, over which a lot of questions have been raised.

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The meeting comes against the backdrop of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reportedly expressing his concern to the defence ministry over the handling of the operations by the army.

In the operation which started on September 24, army authorities had claimed that 35-40 terrorists had infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir’s Keran sector. The army had claimed that it had killed around a dozen in the initial days of the operation itself. However, only eight bodies were recovered finally.

It is learnt that the Prime Minister allegedly expressed concern over the incident as a lot of "exaggerated claims" were made by formations about their success but after the encounter ended, the results did not match the claims.

Antony will hold the review meeting with the three Services chiefs and defence secretary RK Mathur where the Keran incident is likely to be discussed.

National security adviser Shivshankar Menon, who had briefed the Prime Minister about the incident, is also expected to be present at the meeting.
The four-day Army Commanders' Conference starting from October 21 will also discuss various aspects of the operation to evolve strategies for handling such incidents in the future.

Questions have also been raised over the preparedness of the Army at a time when there have been two incidents of attacks on the Indian troops inside Indian Territory in the past 10 months and ceasefire violations by Pakistan have become very frequent.

Army chief General Bikram Singh had briefed Antony on the incident when he was recuperating at the hospital after his prostate surgery. The defence ministry has held discussions on the issue where representatives of the Directorate General of Military Operations, which looks after such large-scale operations, were present.


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