October 2002 News

Army for early installation of sensors on LoC in J&K

23 October 2002
The Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: Army has proposed the stepping up of the pace of acquisition installation of sensors and other detection equipment along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir as top commanders today deliberated upon fresh plans for a crackdown on militants in the state. The commanders meeting under the chairmanship of the Army Chief Gen S Padmanabhan spent the third day of their bi-annual conference focusing on fresh measures to check militancy in the trouble-torn State, with the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen R K Nanavaty commenting that the level of violence had come down. India has recently acquired a large number of electronic sensors and high- altitude searcher Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from Israel and these are to be installed before the onset of winter. New Delhi is also in advanced negotiations for purchase of more advanced sensors from Washington. Army Commanders of five operational Army Commands, Army Training Command and Principal Staff Officers at the Army Headquarters meeting here favoured continuation of measures to exert pressure along the LoC as troops are pulled back from the International Border. The Commanders have also finalised the schedule of withdrawal of troops from the International Border with Pakistan and in the first phase troops would be withdrawn from the Rajasthan and Gujarat border, followed by pullback from Punjab sector and in the last phase from Jammu border. ''Top priority would be given to pulling back of the three strike corp who are equipped with lethal armaments and electronic measures'', highly placed army sources said. The complicated de-mining operations also figured in the deliberations. As part of operation Parakaram, Army has mined large border areas in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab as well as Rajasthan. With the putting off till Saturday of the Prime Minister A B Vajpayee’s security review, the Commanders dwelt on other major issues like finalising new advanced majors to preserve hi-tech weapons and ammunition and relocation of the Army Training Command from Shimla to the outskirts of the capital. The Commanders gave the go ahead to rename the Army’s prestigious College of Combat as Army War College and setting up of a Defence University. Another major issue which figured in the deliberations was the Army chief’s proposal to prepare a team for Olympics. At the Saturday meeting, the Prime Minister as well as the Defence Minister would address all top commanders from the three services after they have given their detailed presentation on the security and strategic environment. The Commanders would later have an interaction, for the first time, with the Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani as well as the External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha and the Finance Minister Jaswant Singh.


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