Srinagar: The General Officer Commanding of Srinagar based 15 Corps Lt Gen DP Pandey on Monday said that the number of local militants has been coming down significantly and foreigners were compelled to come out of their hiding places.
Lt Gen Pandey who has been appointed as Army War College commandant in Madhya Pradesh will move to next posting this month.
The outgoing Corps Commander said that initially the foreigners were putting local youth as the “face of militant activities and militancy.”
“But as the number of local terrorist started drying down and coming down they are now slowly getting exposed and they are compelled to come out of their respective hiding places,” the Corps Commander said on the sidelines of a function at the 15 Corps headquarter.
He said foreigners are coming out to carry out strikes and conduct militancy operations against the Kashmiri peoples or non locals.
“As they have started coming out and emerging they are now getting exposed and contacts are happening and we are able to establish contacts with them of late,” he said.
At least six foreign militants including top commanders have been killed last month in various encounters in Kashmir.
To a question that militants are using weapons and equipment left by US forces in Afghanistan, the Corps Commander said such weapons have been recovered here.
“There are equipments, weapon systems which have been used in other parts of the world which have found their way inside. It is definitely a challenge. But we have also changed our rules of engagements… The (weapons) have been found and they are not in those large numbers. But definitely there are signatures and we have recovered after the encounters. It is not a big challenge,” he said
The Corps Commander said militants have not been able to breach the Army’s anti-infiltration grid.
“There was only one attempt which was made from across to infiltrate that was destroyed and since then there has been no major attempt,” Lt Gen Pandey said .
He said there is reconnaissance and some degree of attempt, but they have not managed to sneak in.
When asked about the recovery of Adhaar cards recovered from slain foreign militants in Srinagar, Lt Gen Pandey said it was a challenge.
“These are challenges. Also when there is an encounter and if a person comes out during a live encounter having a valid Aadhaar card, it is difficult to challenge him. Slowly, we will overcome this problem,” he said.