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'Terror training camps fluorishing across border'

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, Apr 18: The Centre today said it has strong evidence that terror training camps were still flourishing across the border with a large number of militants waiting to infiltrate, but asserted it was determined and ready to take up any challenge.

''It is unfortunate and a matter of concern. Despite several confidence building measures (CBMs), it is true and we have strong evidence that terror infrastructure was intact across the border and the militant training camps are still flourishing there,'' Union Home Secretary V K Duggal told a news conference here.

He said the Centre also has information that a sizeable number of militants were waiting in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to infiltrate into this side after the snow melted.

''We have the number of militants who are being trained there and also of those likely to make effort to infiltrate,'' he added.

However, Mr Duggal said the government was determined and ready to take up the challenge and thwart any attempt to create large- scale disturbances on this side of the Line of Control (LoC).

''A gun has to be answered with a more effective gun,'' he noted.

Mr Duggal said Pakistan's proposal of demilitarisation of entire Jammu and Kashmir and PoK could be discussed across the table.

''But is is a pre-requisite that Pakistan makes sincere efforts to end cross-border terrorism...Give the evidence that it has finished. We have absolutely solid, strong and fool-proof evidence that cross-border terrorism is still flourishing. So the role is obvious,'' he added.

The Union Home Secretary said though the level of violence in the recent past has come down significantly, the militancy was not on decline.

During the first quarter of this year, the number of militancy- related incidents and the casualty figure of security forces and the civilians has come down from last year, Mr Duggal said.

''Last year by this time, there were 489 incidents as compared to 374 this year. We have neutralised a sizeable number of militants,'' he added.

The Union Home Secretary arrived here on a day-long visit to review the security situation in the Kashmir valley with senior defence, para-military and police officials besides those from the central agencies.

At the meeting, the internal security arrangements for the April 24 by-elections, the two-month-long Amarnath pilgrimage, which commences from June 21, the annual Darbar Move and the coming tourist season came up for extensive discussions.


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