Indian Army's operation continues with final combing of infiltrators

Army's operation in Keran continues
Srinagar, Oct 4: The army operation against a group of infiltrating guerrillas in the Keran sector on the Line of Control (LOC) continued for the 11th day Friday. The cordoned off area has not been cleared by the army in north Kashmir's Kupwara district.

The army cordoned off a motley group of 35-40 heavily armed militants on the Indian side of the LOC in the Keran sector Sep 24, foiling a major infiltration bid.

Defence sources told IANS Friday that two brigades of the army have been tasked to tackle the group.

"We are moving into the area with caution because the militants could have planted booby traps in the area."

"The bodies of 15 guerrillas killed in this operation so far have not been recovered, because our priority is to ensure that the those militants inside the area are not allowed to escape," the defence sources said.

Another defence source said the "probing fire by the army troopers has not been responded to by the militants in the cordoned area for the last many hours now".

Lt.Gen. Gurmit Singh, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Srinagar based 15th corps, has already told reporters that no post of the Indian Army has either been vacated by the army or has been occupied by the guerrillas in the area.

He, however, said the gathering of a large number of guerrillas at one time is a new methodology of the infiltrating groups, and some border action teams (BAT) were also involved in Keran infiltration bid.

The BAT in the army parlance refers to a group of 20 to 25 heavily armed and motivated guerrillas, who are used to help infiltration into the state.

The corps commander said it was too early to suggest that the Pakistan Army was directly involved in Keran infiltration bid.

The Keran operation came up for a mention in the state legislative assembly now in session in Srinagar.

Harsh Dev Singh of the Panthers Party raised the issue in the assembly and demanded a statement from the government. He said since the Keran build-up involved the territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the state government must make a statement.

Speaker Mubarak Gul said the details about the operation would be with the army and defence ministry, and the state government would take time to obtain authentic information on it from the ministry.

Later, the members of the Panthers Party walked out of the assembly, raising slogans against Pakistan.


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