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‘No indication of increase in militant recruitment during unilateral ceasefire’

There are no indications of an increase in militant recruitment during the unilateral ceasefire by the Centre in Kashmir, but “Pakistan is still trying to push ultras from across the LoC into the valley”, a top Army official said here today.

General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lieutenant General A K Bhatt also noted that people of Kashmir have responded well to the Centre’s announcement of non-initiation of combat operations (NICO) during Ramzan and some peace has been achieved in the valley.Asked about any increase in militant recruitment since the unilateral ceasefire was announced by the Centre at the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan, the Corps commander told PTI “There are no indications as such at the moment and we hope it will come down”.

“Since the ceasefire, some peace has been achieved and the public has responded well to it. We will be happy if there is no civil casualty in these 30 days of Ramzan,” he said.

The GoC said any decision regarding extension of ceasefire will have to be taken by the government but the Army was ready to implement any such decision.

“That decision has to be taken by the government and we are ready to implement any such decision,” he said.

Asked about “infiltration attempts from across the LoC,” Lt Gen Bhatt said there were “attempts by Pakistan”, but the troops were deployed to stop them.

“As far as infiltration is concerned, Pakistan is still fully engaged in attempting infiltration, but our troops are deployed to stop such attempts,” he said.

On spike in weapons snatching incidents in the valley, the Corps commander said it was the “frustration of the militants.”

“This is their frustration. Police have foiled many such attempts recently and the police are responding to it very effectively,” he said.

Earlier, Lt Gen Bhatt inaugurated the Army’s Kashmir Super 30 (Medical) free residential coaching for NEET aspirants.

“It is a proud moment and a happy moment for us that we have selected 30 students from across the J-K for the Super 30 (Medical). I am sure these students will get good coaching and secure admission in best colleges across the country and earn a name for themselves, for their parents and for the country,” he said.

Lt Gen Bhatt said the endeavour of the forces is to join the youth of the valley with the mainstream.

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