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All steps being taken to thwart infiltration in Jammu: Army

india Updated: Oct 13, 2010 12:35 IST

Faced with increasing attempts of infiltration by militants from across the border in Jammu division, the Army on Wednesday said it was taking all possible steps to foil such intrusion bids.

"There has been an increase in infiltration bids from across the border by terrorist groups during the past several months and most of them have been foiled by our alert troops," General Officer Commanding, 16 Corps and Security Advisor Lt Gen Rameshwar Roy told reporters at Nagrota, 12 kms from here.

"We will utilise all our resources to thwart these intrusion bids into our territory," said Lt Gen Roy, who was talking to media after interacting with 'Ace of Space Riders', who are on a cycle expedition from Poonch to New Delhi.

Admitting that some groups manage to infiltrate due to the existing topographical condition in the division, Gen Roy said, "We have to put more vigil to ensure that infiltration does not take place."

Lt Gen Roy, who reviewed the security situation at a core group meeting here yesterday, said 227 terrorists have been eliminated during foiling of infiltration bids and encounters by security forces in the division in the last three years.

In reply to a question about the number of militants of different outfits operating in the division, Lt Gen Roy said that it is difficult to establish their exact figure but it could be somewhere between 450 and 500.

There has been a shift in the strategy of militants due to lack of support from local populace in the hinterland, he said adding they are not getting hideouts in populated areas and thus taking shelter in forests.

Intra-organisational rivalries, mostly between Lashker-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, has also created problems for them in carrying their activities in the division, he said.

About involvement of women in militancy, he said, "We do not have any confirmation about them being active in terrorism but some of them may be working as overground workers."

On the impact of disturbances in the Kashmir Valley in his area of operation, the GOC said it had very little effect on this side of the Pir Panchal -- which divides the Valley and the Jammu division. The protests in the valley have disrupted the economy and tourism, which otherwise was at peak during 2008, 2009 and first half of 2010, he said.

On removal of bunkers in some parts of Srinagar, Lt Gen Roy said that the Army operates when a security situation is caused by terrorists who have to be eliminated, but public agitations and protests have a different tone and texture and "we cannot operate in the same way with the protestors".

It is for the government to see whether the bunkers are required or should be removed, he said.

To a question on Pakistan's strategy to continue disturbances in Jammu and Kashmir in one or the other form, he said, "We have our own mechanism and are fully equipped to deal with anyone."