May 2003 News

No Let-up In Infiltration, Says Vij

21 May 2003
The Indian Express

New Delhi: Has infiltration from across the border gone up or come down? The Government seems to have no concrete answer to that as privately they admit it has gone down while publicly maintaining that there is no let-up. The confusion came out in the open today after Army Chief General N.C. Vij's meeting with Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani. Back from his two-day visit to insurgency-prone areas in J-K, he told Advani infiltration had gone down but there was a 'need to keep a close watch' and that the security forces could not afford to be lax. However, a while later, talking to reporters on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony, Vij said there was no let-up in infiltration from across the LoC. Vij, who visited forward areas near the LoC, Punch-Surankote-Rajouri sectors and also Doda and Kishtwar said there was 'no lack of effort by our neighbour in infiltration.' And more as a reassurance, he said, 'we will sort these rascals out'. In fact, contrary to what the Army Chief told reporters, Director-General, BSF, Ajai Raj Sharma claimed at a press conference yesterday that infiltration had gone down. But he too had said there was a need to be alert since the next two months were going to be crucial, with the snow melting and passes opening up. Meanwhile, the Army Chief said the security forces were keeping a good check and had 'caused heavy attrition on them.' Referring to the recent operation conducted at Hill Kaka near Surankote, Vij denied this was an 'intrusion' by the Pakistanis. 'Hill Kaka dominates the Surankote bowl and is a launching area for terrorists into the Valley. Since the terrorists were on a hill they could have disrupted our lines of communication,' he said. Calling operation Sarp Vinaash a major success, Vij indicated the Army could undertake similar operations in the surrounding areas to discourage terrorists from undertaking any further misadventures. The Army would also review its deployment and concentrate on the inaccessible areas which were possible transit-cum-storing grounds for terrorists infiltrating into the Valley.


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