Army To Finish Terrorism In J&K Militarily: Vij
4 July 2004
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: Army is 'hell bent' on finishing militancy in Jammu and Kashmir militarily, Army Chief General N C Vij said today declaring that though infiltration had witnessed a spurt recently, the force's kill ratio had also gone up. 'We are poised to give death blows to militants,' Vij said asserting that this could pave the way for a smoother holding of political dialogue with separatist forces. There was a three-tier counter infiltration measure in place now, Vij said adding the Army's kill ratio of militants attempting to cross the Line of Control, had gone up considerably. Citing figures to illustrate that infiltration was still on, the Army Chief, speaking on the sidelines of a reception to this years's military awardees, said in the month of June and the first week of July, the Army had foiled 12 infiltration attempts across the LoC killing 31 militants. In the same period last year, there had been only seven attempts, he said. The militants are in launchpads across the Line of Control in Pak-occupied Kashmir. They number 300-400 and they are coming, he said, adding he could not comment whether there was some connivance with Pakistani authorities or not. For the first time, the Army Chief said that another stretch of 60 km of the LoC, which had earlier been left out, was also being fenced. On the fencing, Vij said, over 600 kms stretch of LoC from the Chenab river to the Kargil border had now being fenced. On the new stretch of fencing, he said, this would comprise the area between Lippa valley in Kupwara district to Kanzalwar in Gurez sector. The Army Chief, who went around meeting gallantry winners, particularly widows said that the officers and the men of the armed forces were working ardously to fight the militants in J&K. This years's award winners include 13 posthumous decorations, all for displaying exemplary courage and daredevillary against militants and foreign mercenaries in J&K and the North East. On the implementation of the Bagga committee report on enhansing the service profile in the Army, Vij said the new Defence Minister had been briefed on recommendations of the committee. Highly placed Army officials said for the start, the Army was recommending implementation of one of the key recommendations dealing with faster promotions of officers to the rank of Captain, Major and full Colonel. They said, under the scheme, an officer would be Captain within three years of commissioning, Major in six years and full Colonel in 26 years. This year's awardees include Major General Deepak Summenooar, Additional Director General Public Information, who has been awarded with Uttam Yudh Sewa Medal for his tenure in Kargil sector during Operation Parakram while Brig Shruti Kant has been awarded with Ati Vishshtya Sewa Medal.