Northern Army Commander Lt General D Anbu said that the Indian Army may cross the Line of Control if required and had also claimed that there are fewer infiltrations this year as compared to last year. He also spoke of the need to create employment opportunities for Kashmiri youth to wean them away from the agitation.
Pointing out that there has been an increase in the number of infiltration attempts and terror camps across the LoC, Lt General Anbu said that “when we want to we will be able to breach it, go across and strike when we need’’. He said the surgical strike by India “was a point we wanted to drive home”. India wanted to convey “this subtle message” that the “LoC is not a line that cannot be breached”, he said.
Lt Gen. Anbu said while presenting gallantry and distinguished services medals to 103 officers and jawans.
“There is no dearth of people who are trying to infiltrate.The launch pads and terrorist camps across the Line of Control have increased as compared to the previous year,” Lt Gen. Anbu said. “While they attempt to cross the LoC, the success they have been able to attain this year, despite a large number of people trying to infiltrate, has been much less as compared to the previous year because of the very robust counter-infiltration grid we have on the LoC,’’ he said.
According to official figures, 75 people have infiltrated from across the LoC this year, “but our assessment is that their number is not more than 45-50”, Lt Gen. Anbu said. Referring to the number of local terrorists in the Valley, the Northern Army Commander said their number has been largely constant over the past three years, including the current year. “The youth turning into separatists are those who are in the age group of 15-25 and who are not very sure of the future. This is one aspect which needs to be looked at,” he said.
“It shows that we have to engage the youth.The state government and everybody has to play a part in ensuring employment generation and a positive security environment will be created by the security forces,’’ he said. “This is what has happened now. While the effect of elimination of so many terrorists will manifest in a couple of months from now, we have already seen a decrease in local youth getting recruited in terrorist ranks,’’ he claimed.
To a question about the stone throwing youths on the streets in the Valley, Lt Gen. Anbu said: “A lot of youths are involved in it, but it is not that all the youths are involved in it and their entire population comes out into the streets…. Their heart and soul is not in it.”
Asked about the situation along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, he said it was under control