Cannot reduce army presence in Kashmir: GOC
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Last Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011, 22:13
Srinagar: The Army on Friday ruled out reduction in armed forces in Kashmir saying the terror infrastructure was still intact on the other side of the Line of Control where militants were waiting to infiltrate into the Valley.

"The situation cannot be normal as the (terror) infrastructure and intent across the border is alive as also their overground network in the Valley. In this scenario, we cannot reduce the army presence," General Officer Commanding of the Army's 15 Corps Lt Gen S A Hasnain told reporters here.

He said with the melting of snow, infiltration bids are likely to commence in the next few days but asserted that the Army was ready to face the challenge.

Asked about the number of militants waiting to infiltrate, the Army commander said it was difficult to give an exact figure. "There can be 600 to 700 militants at the launch pads but the number can increase or decrease," he added.

Earlier, Lt Gen Hasnain inaugurated a blood donation camp - the latest in a series of the Army's attempts to reach out to the people of the Valley since he assumed charge of 15 Corps.

In reply to a question, he lauded the cooperation between the Army and the local administration in achieving peace in the Valley.

"We are observing this year as the year of the Kashmiri awaam (people)," he said.

The blood collected through this camp will be sent to all major hospitals of the Valley including Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) at Soura, a defence spokesman said.


First Published: Friday, April 15, 2011, 22:13

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