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Plug borders, don’t allow militants re-group: Gen Rawat to soldiers

On his visit to the Valley in the wake of the announcement of unilateral ceasefire by the centre on May 15,  the army chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday called upon troops to keep a strict vigil on borders “and not allow militants to enter, reach hinterland and then spread to regroup”.

The Army chief visited the forward posts of north Kashmir to get fresh feedback on the infiltration. He also visited the formation headquarters and units in north Kashmir where he was briefed by the commanders about the operational preparedness.

He was accompanied by General Officer Commanding (GoC) of army’s Srinagar based 15 Corps Lieutenant General A K Bhat.

“The chief was appreciative of the measures and the Standard Operating Procedure instituted by the units and formations to meet the challenges posed by the inimical elements,” the  Army spokesman Rajesh Kalia told.Sources in the Army said that the soldiers deployed at the LoC assured the army chief that the new surveillance equipment comprising sirens, alarms and metal detectors had made it difficult for the militants to infiltrate.

The soldiers, however, have cited tough terrain and deep ravines as a reason for some successful infiltration bids.

A source privy to the visit said that there are apprehensions in the army that the ongoing ceasefire would help militants regroup in case the infiltration was not plugged.   “Yes, we are aware of this. But we will take care of it,” a source said. “First step is to ensure, no militant manages to sneak in. If some do, they have to be either killed in the hinterland or else tracked down and killed before they reach South Kashmir and stay with the local militants there.”

General also took stock of the security and administrative arrangements for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra which is scheduled to start from June 27.

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