40 Infiltrators Killed In Kupwara, Gurez: Army

25 April 2009
The Hindu


Srinagar: Forty militants, who infiltrated the Line of Control, have been killed in the Kupwara and Gurez sectors in the past few days. But more are waiting to cross over, Army authorities said on Saturday. Two major infiltration bids had taken place in the two areas. A massive combing operation was on in the Gurez sector. “You will soon come to know of the details,” Brig. Gurmeet Singh, Brigadier-General Staff at the Srinagar-based 15 Corps headquarters, told a press conference. Brig. Singh put the number of militants killed in the Hafruda forests in Kupwara at 25. Twelve were killed in Gurez. According to the lone captured militant, Syed Moinullah Shah from Pakistan, eight more were buried under an avalanche. Effective intelligence Initially, both the Brigadier and Moinullah said, 120 people had crossed over into Gurez, but most of them were guides and porters who went back. “Their [guides’] mentors want them to come back. Only then are they paid,” the Brigadier said. The other militants were now confined to a small area. Effective intelligence helped the Army track down the infiltrators. The weapons, the method of communication and logistics suggested that the militants were backed by the armed forces across the LoC, Brig. Singh said. “There are a large number of militants waiting on active launching pads and are perhaps waiting for the snow to melt. But the infiltration has happened a little early.” He said there was 6 to 48-foot snow in the area and “we have seen 89 avalanches this winter”. Arms haul A huge cache of arms and ammunition was displayed before the media. It included 48 AK 47 rifles, 13,000 rounds, an RPG launcher, 14 RPG shells, 445 grenades of UBGL, six Chinese grenades and 32 kg of explosives. The captured Hizb-ul Mujahideen militant said there was no Taliban presence in Kashmir. “They are not here, they are in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said. Asked whether the infiltrators trained Kashmiri militants, Moinullah said: “No. They have a separate set-up. We have no connection with the groups fighting in Kashmir.” He maintained that the militants who crossed over belonged to four groups - Hizb-ul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and HM (Pir Panjal Range). Moinullah, who was captured by the Army after a local Kashmiri informed it of his presence, hails from Katel Panjil in Dir district of the NorthWest Frontier Province. He was motivated at a programme organised by the Hizb in which “atrocities against Kashmiris by Indian forces” were highlighted. “I wanted to join jehad here and help Kashmiris. But I found everything normal here and people going about their business… There is no need for jehad here as I did not see any “zulum” (oppression) by Indian forces,” he said.