600 to 800 militants operating in J&K: Lt Gen Bhardwaj

Udhampur (J&K): Asserting that militancy is declining in Jammu and Kashmir, the Army on Wednesday said that nearly 600 to 800 militants are presently operating in the state.

The overall situation is good in the entire state with low level and sporadic incidents of violence, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command, Lieutenant General PC Bhardwaj today told reporters at an informal chat at Northern Command Headquarters here.

"It was not possible to assess the exact number of militants operating in the state, but overall assessment from all agencies put their number to be around 600 to 800. Among them, the number of foreign mercenaries could be less."

The restoration of democratic and political activities and peaceful Amarnath yatra are indications that overall situation in Jammu and Kashmir is very good, he said and admitted that infiltration has however increased this year.

On role of army in restoration of peace in the state, Bhardwaj said, "We are instruments of peace and will ensure that complete peace is restored in the state."

Asked about any threat of Pakistan acquiring drone missile technology, he said that there is no such threat on this score and added, "Our country has also advanced and improved technology in making weapons."

Drone missiles, however, have proved effective in dealing with terrorists in parts of Pakistan, Bhardwaj said.

About situation along Line of Actual Control with China, the army commander said that the situation along borders with China was quite peaceful.

57 ultras killed from Jan to Aug: Army

As many as 57 terrorists were killed during infiltration bids across the borders in Jammu and Kashmir from January to August this year, a senior army officer today said.

Briefing reporters at the Northern Command headquarters here, Brigadier G Murali, BGS of Information Wing said that Indian army had foiled 26 infiltration bids along the borders in the state killing 57 terrorists this year.

However, infiltration has been continuing and has gone up especially in the month of March this year, he said.

"There have been nearly 72 successful infiltration bids between January and August this year. Of these 69 have taken place in Kashmir valley and remaining three in Jammu region," said Brigadier Murali.

The number of terrorists that might have crossed to this side during these infiltrations cannot be exactly assessed, he said.

The Brigadier said that the army had adopted a high level of operational strategy both on borders and hinterland to counter proxy war and it was yielding good results with significant signs of normalcy in the state.

Bureau Report