Over 500 militants ready to infiltrate from Pirpanjal range: Lt. General Rameshwar Rai

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Doda (Jammu and Kashmir), Oct 8 (ANI): Lieutenant General Rameshwar Rai, General Officer Commanding, 16 Corps, on Friday said that over five hundred militants are ready to infiltrate from Pirpanjal range from across the border.

"Near the border from this side of Pirpanjal sector nearly four hundred fifty to five hundred militants are sitting there to infiltrate," said Lieutenant General Rai, while addressing the media on the sidelines of a function organized at Bhaderwah town in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda District to bridge the gap between security forces and the locals.

"It is difficult to assess the exact number because we don't get any reports regarding who (militants) are active and who are not but those who were active two to three years back, amongst those only one fourth are left, which means twenty to twenty five percent are still there," he added.

Commenting on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's speech in the State Assembly earlier this week that he is against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and not the Army, Lieutenant General Rai said: "As you know what the situation was in Jammu and Kashmir earlier and what it is today. It is only because of the presence of the army here."

"Army is here only because of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act because this area (Jammu and Kashmir) was declared disturbed area act. So it's important that unless the situation becomes completely normal, Army and Armed Forces Special Powers Act have to remain together," he added.

Over 105 people have been killed during unrest in the Kashmir Valley in the last three months. By Tahir Nadeem Khan (ANI)

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