Counter infiltration deployment being beefed up: Northern Command chief

The Army on Tuesday called off the 15-day-long military operation in the Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Bodies of six militants were recovered, a senior officer of the J&K Police in North Kashmir, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Hindu, though the Army had previously claimed that 30-40 militants had been spotted and engaged, and 19 were killed in gun battles, seven of them at Gujjartur and Fateh Gali.

“[The] police station in Keran has received the bodies of the two militants who reportedly died at Gujjartur [Gogaldara] and later, four bodies of unidentified militantswho reportedly died at Fateh Gali,” the officer said.

He said that Shalabata, a village on the LoC where theprimary infiltration and counterinsurgency operation took place, came under the jurisdiction of the Trehgam police station.

“Not a single body was handed over to the Trehgam police station or any other station in Kupwara district.”

Earlier on Tuesday, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt. Gen. Sanjeev Chachra, said at a press meet that eight militants had been killed in theoperation. .

“Now, I have given directions to call off the concerted searches in the area. But our counter infiltration deployment is being strengthened. Now, we are going to launch operations which are intelligence-based, surveillance-based and specific so that we can eliminate them,” Lt. Gen. Chachra said, adding that 59 weapons, including 18 AK-47 rifles, had been recovered.

The troops, the GoC-in-C Northern Command said,expected more such infiltration attempts to take place before the onset of winter but were high in spirit and morale.

He concluded his four-day visit with an aerial inspection of the forward posts and interaction with jawans at several places in Kupwara.

He also called on the injured soldiers at the 92 Base Hospital and held separate meetings with the J&K Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

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