Infiltration Along LoC Rising: Army
4 September 2006
The Times of India
Jammu: Infiltration of militants from Pakistan into the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir has 'marginally increased' this year due to 'relaxation of restrictions imposed by Pakistan', a top army official said on Monday. 'This is perhaps due to the reason that the authorities across (in Pakistan) have now relaxed curbs on infiltration which were there earlier,' said Lt. Gen. Tej Kumar Sapru, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 16 Corps. 'The militants who were apprehended or were surrendering substantiate the reports that there is general lift on restrictions (on infiltration),' Sapru, told reporters at Nagrota after a flagging-in ceremony of 36 religious and community leaders from Rajouri. The leaders were taken on an India tour 'Sair-e-Watan' by the army under Operation Sadbhavana. The team that included 22 Muslims, 10 Hindus and four Sikhs met President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, besides visiting several historical sites at Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Ajmer and Amritsar during their 14-day tour. Sapru said the aim of these trips was to expose 'these people from remote areas to the greatness of Indian nation, its unity in diversity, spirit of peaceful co-existence and fast track development'. Said Noor Hassan from Rajouri, who was part of the team: 'It was wonderful and an eye- opening trip for me. I will now always strive for and spread the message of peace and development to people in my area.' Bhupinder Singh, a Sikh leader from Rajouri, was thrilled about the tour. He said the best part of the trip for him was when he offered a chadar at the Ajmer Sharif dargah and prayed for peace in their area and the state. 'It was such an emotional moment that tears started tricking down my eyes,' he said. And Abdul Rashid experienced same emotions when he went to the Golden Temple at Amritsar. 'I could not imagine that India is such a great nation'.