Srinagar/New Delhi: The Indian Army yestrerday called off its 14-day-long operation in Keran sector of the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir while the army chief said Pakistani troops had helped a group of 30 to 40 insurgents stage the biggest incursion in Kashmir in years.
Army chief General Bikram Singh’s remarks were the first direct allegation against Pakistan since the heavily-armed fighters crossed the Line of Control in Kashmir last month.
“With the eyeball-to-eyeball deployment along the Line of Control, it is well-nigh impossible for the terrorists to do any activity without the knowledge of the Pakistani army,” Singh told the Times Now television.
Indian intelligence officials have warned that militant groups that have been fighting in Afghanistan for several years have been turning their sights to Kashmir as foreign forces leave to reinvigorate the nearly 24-year insurgency there.
“Will have to see what happens in Afghanistan in 2014. Pakistan wants to push in many terrorists before winter,” Singh was quoted as saying in an interview to be broadcast later by NDTV. His comments were posted on NDTV’s Twitter account.
Seven militants had been killed in the operation against the heavily-armed guerrillas (allegedly backed by Pakistan) in Kupwara district, Singh said.
“This is not an intrusion, it is a desperate bid for infiltration,” the army chief told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Air Force Day Parade at Hindon adjacent to the national capital.
Lieutenant General Sanjiv Chachra, who heads the Northern Command that conducted the operation, said it had ended.
The commander said the army had killed eight of the guerrillas, whose bodies and weapons had already been displayed before the media.
“It was an infiltration bid and these will continue till the winter sets in. Last night also there has been another infiltration bid.”
He said all Indian Army posts on the LoC were intact and dismissed reports that some posts or any area on the Indian side of had been taken over by the guerrillas.
“Let me assure you, the sanctity of the Line of Control is well maintained,” he said.
The army commander said the Pakistani Army always played a definitive role whenever infiltration attempts were made on the LoC. “It would be ridiculous to think that this can happen without the support of the Pakistani Army,” he asserted.