‘Infiltration’ slightly up: New Delhi
15 July 2006
Srinagar: Militants’ infiltration from the Pakistani side of Kashmir has risen slightly but showed no ‘drastic’ increase, a top Indian army official has claimed. “Infiltration is a little more than last year but nothing very drastic,” General S.S. Dhillon, Indian army chief, told reporters in held Srinagar on Saturday. But Dhillon, who gave no actual numbers of infiltrators, said militant training camps still existed across the Line of Control. The general’s statement came a day after India said last Tuesday’s Mumbai train blasts which killed 181 people could not have been carried out without “help from across the border,” a charge denied by Pakistan. The army general said fencing along the Line of Control had helped cut infiltration in the Himalayan region. “This year infiltration picked up in May instead of June because of less snow (on the possible infiltration tracks),” he said. He said militants had staged over 100 grenade attacks since January, killing 34 civilians and wounding around 370. Nearly a dozen of the attacks were aimed at Indian tourists, killing 15 and injuring 70. He gave no comparative figures. “In 2004 we were more worried about Fidayeen attacks,” Dhillon said, referring to suicide assaults on security camps. “Last year it was car bombs and this year it is grenade attacks,” he said, adding that the army had recovered over 2,900 grenades this year during counter-insurgency operations. “Look at the potential of the damage these grenades would have caused,” he said, as police reported another grenade blast on Saturday in the town of Gandherbal east of Srinagar that killed one civilian and wounded five. Militants hurled the grenade at a police bunker but missed their target and it exploded among bystanders, police said.