The army has failed to neutralise a group of about 40 trained militants after nine days of fierce gun battle in the inhospitable terrain along the Line of Control in Kashmir’s Keran sector.
The Pakistan army’s post close to the LoC has been providing the militants with a steady supply of arms and ammunition, an army officer said. This has helped them to engage the army for the past nine days. “Such a long hold-up has never happened since Kargil,” he said.
dna was the first to report that militants were getting supplies from across the border — an unusual and worrying trend. Normally, militants return if their infiltration bid fails.
“After analysing the methodology, I can only say this is not a pure infiltration attempt. This is BAT (Border Action Team) action cum infiltration,” LtGen Gurmit Singh, General Officer Commanding (GoC), 15 corps, said. “The number of militants who tried to infiltrate was rather large. This is quite different from the attempts we have seen… The strength and the intentions indicate that definitely there are some special troops [involved]. They are very well trained.”
Also, the army denied reports that militants had occupied a border Indian village or posts along the LoC.
“First there is no village in this area which is out of our cordon. I find it absolutely absurd (about posts being occupied),” LtGen Singh said.
Five Indian soldiers have been injured and the army has killed 10-12 militants since the operation began on September 24.
Around 30-40 militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al Badr and Hijbul Mujahideen have been spotted.
According to military intelligence, the Pakistani army has organised a training camp for BAT members opposite the Mendhar sector in their side of the LoC. The BAT comprises trained commandos of Pakistan’s Special Service Group(SSG) and militants of LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
BAT troops had attacked Mendhar sector in January and beheaded two soldiers and had killed five soldiers in Poonch. At present, there are 42 training camps in PoK; and 22 are close to the LoC.
Intelligence reports say BAT troops are being trained to kidnap soldiers instead of killing them. “They will kidnap and take Indian soldiers to their side and present them before the world community saying the soldiers had intruded into their territory,” an army source said.