Army Has An Upper Hand In Kashmir
27 September 2000
New Delhi: As the low intensity conflict between security agencies and the militant groups spreads to the higher reaches of the Himalayas in Kashmir, it''s the Army and the Para military which has gained an upper hand over the terrorists in recent times. No wonder, in just ten days, 124 militants have been gunned down. What made the security forces to swoop down the mercenaries were the brutal killings of the Amarnathn pilgrims and the Bihari labourers last month. ''In last two months, over 225 terrorists were gunned down. The figures are an all time high since insurgency began in late eighties. We now have an upper hand,'' said a senior Home Ministry official. According to the official, its the better co-ordination between the Army, Para military and the police which has exerted pressure on the militant groups. The intelligence agencies are playing a key role in the counter insurgency operations, the official said. ''It''s a pro-active strategy. We made it clear that the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Harkut-ul-Mujahideen, Al-badar and even Hijb cadres owing allegiance to the Pakistan faction will not be spared. We are determined to crush the terror in the valley,'' he added. Hunting for the most dreaded militant-Puppa Lone Aka Shaukat-wanted in several bombings and killings of atleast 110 people, was gunned down by the CRPF in Bonpora, Batamalo. A jawan, Mahipal Singh was killed in the operation. Sources said that since the defeat at the hands of Indian Army in Kargil, Pakistan, by backing foreign mercenaries in Kashmir has increased its covert operations. Pakistan Army resorted to heavy shellings on the Line of Control to facilitate the infiltration of the militants into Kashmir. ''More sophisticated guns have been supplied to the terrorists and a few are even equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS compass),'' the official informed. ''Though casualties in our side have slightly increased but we are determined to give them a befitting reply. We have succeeded in our efforts so far. In last three months 475 militants have been shot dead in encounters,'' said an official. On the other hand, the Amir of Lashkar-e-Toiba in a meeting of the United Jehad Council at Muzaffarabad (Pak occupied Kashmir) has said that its cadres will continue the Jehad against India. ''Thousands of Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan are ready to lay their lives for the holy cause. Till the last drop of our blood we will continue fighting,'' said the Amir while addressing the council.