March 2003 News

86 Militants Killed In Encounters On LoC In Four Months

12 March 2003
The Times of India

New Delhi: Infiltration of militants across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan continues to remain a big problem. There have been 24 'encounters' on the LoC, in which 86 militants have been killed, in the last four months. In all, the army foiled 96 infiltration attempts and killed 311 terrorists along the LoC and the international border in J&K last year. Eight attempts have so far been foiled this year, in which 16 militants were killed. 'Adequate military measures have been taken to intercept and eliminate terrorist groups attempting to infiltrate into J&K. The counter- measures, include surveillance of all known routes of infiltration,' Defence Minister George Fernandes told Parliament on Wednesday. In the 24 encounters on the LoC from October 21 to March 6, four army soldiers were killed and 14 were wounded. There have been 21 terrorist attacks on army posts in the hinterland during the same period, leaving a soldier dead and 21 wounded. Four terrorists were also killed in these incidents. Fernandes said the government's decision to 'redeploy' the armed forces, after the prolonged mobilisation last year, did not 'envisage any lowering of the vigil on the LoC and the counter-insurgency grid' in the hinterland. 'The counter-infiltration posture is constantly being reviewed based on intelligence inputs and is paying good dividends by way of attrition caused on the terrorists,' he said. The government has also completed border fencing of 457 km in Punjab and 1,048 km in Rajasthan. Work is also in progress to fence 40 km in J&K and 54 km in Gujarat.


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