SRINAGAR, July 17: Situation in Kashmir Valley is alarming as militant handlers were desperately trying to strengthen their cadre base by way of infiltration and local recruitment besides planning to launch suicide attacks, the army said on Tuesday.
“It is an alarming situation…some incidents have taken place like the shootouts at Pampore, Kulgam and Rajpora (in south Kashmir),” General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 corps Lt Gen Om Prakash was quoted by wire agencies PTI as telling reporters.
Lt Gen Prakash, who took over as GOC of the strategic Chinar Corps last month, said intelligence agencies in Kashmir have reported that militant handlers were directing the militants to carry out suicide attacks on security forces.
“Intelligence agencies, as recently as a week ago, have reported that militants were planning to carry out Fidayeen (suicide) attacks and snatch weapons of security forces,” he said.
The statement comes in the backdrop of revelations by interrogators of the arrested Mumbai attack-accused Abu Jundal, who said that Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were planning to carry out ‘big strikes’ in Kashmir.
The army commander said 550 to 600 militants were waiting at various launch pads near the Line of Control in Pakistan administered Kashmir to infiltrate into the valley.
“They are looking for chances to infiltrate and attempts are being made which we have foiled. However, we cannot guarantee zero infiltration but we will be able to counter their designs,” he said.
In response to a question, he said militant outfits like Lashker-e-Tayiba were trying to recruit local youths to strengthen their cadres in the Valley as part of their two pronged strategy.