Ready to take on any se­cu­rity chal­lenge, even Al Qaeda: GOC

The Political and Business Daily - - FRONT PAGE - PBD BUREAU/PTI

A RMY to­day said it was ready to take on any se­cu­rity chal­lenge in Kash­mir in­clud­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of Al Qaeda try­ing to set up a base in the Val­ley.

"We are pre­pared to take on any chal­lenge," Gen­eral Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing of Army's 15 Corps Lt Gen­eral Gur­mit Singh told re­porters here.

He was re­ply­ing to ques­tion about re­ports that Al Qaeda may set up a base in Kash­mir.

Top mil­i­tants of AlQaeda's cen­tral com­mand had pur­port­edly re­leased a video call­ing on Mus­lims of Kash­mir to "join ji­had". It is per­haps the first time that Kash­mir has been specif­i­cally tar­geted.

Lt Gen Singh said an ef­fec­tive counter-in­fil­tra­tion grid was in place along the Line of Con­trol (LoC) in the Val­ley to pre­vent in­fil­tra­tion of mil­i­tants from the other side.

"We have an ex­cel­lent in­tel­li­gence net­work and good syn­ergy with Jammu and Kash­mir po­lice and other se­cu­rity forces agencies to deal with any kind of chal­lenge," he said.

He said the sit­u­a­tion along the LoC and the hin­ter­land was "un­der con­trol".

Giv­ing de­tails of the anti-mil­i­tancy op­er­a­tions, the Corps Com­man­der said the se­cu­rity forces have man­aged to neu­tralise 63 mil­i­tants in the first half of the cur­rent year.

"We have killed 40 ter­ror­ists in­clud­ing 17 from Lashkar-e-Toiba and 11 from Hizbul Mu­jahideen. 23 ter­ror­ists have been ap­pre­hended dur­ing this pe­riod," he said.

He said 140 weapons in­clud­ing 60 pis­tols have been re­cov­ered dur­ing the op­er­a­tions against mil­i­tants in the Val­ley.

The troops came in for praise from Lt Gen Singh for car­ry­ing out "pro­fes­sional op­er­a­tions" dur­ing which he claimed there had been no hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions.

As­sert­ing that se­cu­rity forces in Jammu and Kash­mir are alert to threats of al-Qaeda, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice (DGP) K Ra­jin­dra Ku­mar had on Satur­day said that the state po­lice along with cen­tral forces were pre­pared to han­dle any sit­u­a­tion and thwart ne­far­i­ous de­signs of mil­i­tants.

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