Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
Srinagar: After battling militants for 15 days in one of the biggest anti-infiltration operations in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army on Tuesday declared the encounter in Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir over.
Addressing reporters, Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra said seven militants` bodies have been recovered along with a huge cache of arms and ammunition.
Between 30 to 40 militants and Pakistan special forces` troops had infiltrated into Keran sector in Kupwara district and the encounter in Shalbhatti village had started on September 24.
Briefing reporters earlier in the day, Army Chief General Bikram Singh had described the incident as "a desperate infiltration bid" that "has been foiled".
Gen Singh sought to clarify that the infiltration attempt was not an "intrusion" as the enemy was not occupying higher ground but sitting in a "nallah" (rivulet).
Gen Chachra rubbished claims that the infiltration happened without the tacit support of the Pakistani Army.
"It is ridiculous to say that the militants did not have Pak Army support. We have produced identity proofs and a letter recovered from infiltrators to establish the claim," he stated.
The Army officer further said, "We are prepared... the sanctity of the LoC has been well maintained and counter-infiltration operations will continue."
"It was a desperate infiltration bid and the area has been cleaned up now. Since winters are approaching, these kind of attempts will continue," he added.
The Lt Gen dubbed as false reports that the militants had occupied an abandoned Indian post along the LoC.
Earlier, the government had again denied the suggestion that the situation in Keran was like that of Kargil War of 1999.
Among the ammo recovered from militants include AK-47 rifles, pistols, one sniper rifle, 20 UBGL grenades, radio-sets and other war-like stores. Some medicines and food items were also found.
Many of the weapons and ammunition recovered carry the `Made in Pakistan` tag.
DNA`s Ishfaq-ul-Hassan reported that a letter seized from a slain infiltrator in the Keran sector has exposed Pakistan’s involvement in the current stand-off on the LoC.
The letter was written by Havaldar Mohommad Yousuf Chaudhary of 645 MD (Mujhaideen) regiment of Pakistan to his “brother Inayat” seeking help for his associate Farid Malik.