12 militants, Army Lt killed in Gurez20 August 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Army today foiled a major infiltration bid of the year by killing 12 heavily armed militants near the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez sector of North Kashmir in frontier district of Bandipora today. An Army Lieutenant was also killed and three jawans injured in the encounter. The heavy gun fight against the infiltrating militants is still going on as some of them have managed to enter the dense Kanzalwan forests of Gurez near the LoC. General Officer Commanding (GOC), 28 Infantry Division, Major General S K Chakravorty told reporters at Gurez that Army had already information about the possible infiltration attempts by heavily armed militants from across the LoC. 'We had already laid ambush along the LoC at various places and our troops were waiting for them', he said. While giving details of the operation Major General Chakravorty said the heavily armed militants crossed the Kishanganga river near village Baktoor in a rubber boat early in the morning. 'First the boat ferried three militants, this was followed by 7 militants and when they were ferrying the third group of 7 more militants Army challenged them resulting in the encounter. Rest of the group managed to flee back,' he added. He said six of them were killed near the shore and their bodies fell into Kishanganga river and were washed away by the waters. 'Six others were killed in a fierce encounter in the adjacent forest and their bodies were recovered.' 'A group of 5-8 militants have managed to flee into the nearby Kanzalwan forests and encounter with them is going on. It will take a couple of days to eliminate these infiltrated militants', said the General. He said that this was one of the biggest groups of infiltrators and 'we have information that more attempts will be made in this sector.' 'A large number of militants are waiting across the LoC. Normally small groups of militants infiltrate but this was for the first time that such a big group has made an infiltration bid,' he added. Five AK rifles, one pistol, two boats, 50 assorted grenades, two radio sets, two compasses and one Global Positioning System besides a large quantity of war like stores were recovered from these militants. Besides this, Rs 50, 000 Indian currency and Pakistani currency was also recovered from their possession. The infiltrators were carrying haversacks and food packets that could have sustained them during the course of their travel through rugged mountains and dense forests. 'This is for the first time the infiltrators used rubber boats for infiltration in Gurez sector', the General said. Meanwhile, Srinagar based Defence Spokesman Lt Col JS Brar described the killing of 12 infiltrators as the biggest success of the year against infiltrating militants. Brar said that in the operation, 'we lost a gallant officer, Lieutenant Navdeep Singh, besides injury to two of our jawans.' 'A lively 26 year old officer, Navdeep was commissioned in March this year into the Army Ordnance Corps and was serving in 15th Battalion of the Maratha Light Infantry.' Army said this is the eighth infiltration attempt this month and the largest so far this year by the heavily armed militants. In earlier bids, a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and four Army jawans were killed. Last time, a major group of militants infiltrated through Gurez sector was in March 2009. The group passed over the snow-clad mountains and managed to reach Hafrooda and Drangyari forests in frontier district of Bandipora before the melting of snow. Army during operation that lasted for several days killed 17 militants and lost 8 soldiers. Army sources said large number of militants are desperate to infiltrate into Kashmir after security forces killed their top commanders during various operations in recent months. Communication system to be strengthened Pilot Excelsior Correspondent SRINAGAR, Aug 20 Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Sachin Pilot today said that communication network along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border is being strengthened so that the mobile signals from across don't get transmitted to this side. Addressing a press conference here at the DOEACC centre, Pilot said people living near the LoC are provided with satellite phones in order to be in touch with the rest of the world. He asked Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to pull up its socks and improve its performance in the State adding that unexplored areas should be tapped for starting the cellular service. 'BSNL is the largest telecom service provider in the country and it is working on a plan to improve the communication set up along LoC and International Border. The issue is delicate one and we have to ensure that signal from across the border does not reach us. I hope in future there would be no problem of connectivity in these areas,' said Pilot. Pilot said that people living near LoC and International Border are provided with landline telephone connections. 'Wherever landline phones are not available then mobiles are provided to the people. If there is some problem with the mobile phones then satellite phones are provided so that these people are in contact with the outside world.'