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In J&K, NSA Ajit Doval cautions forces against infiltration

 

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Thursday cautioned the security establishment against large-scale infiltration attempts in Kashmir and stressed the need to put troopers on high alert to foil any such move by terrorists.

Doval was in Kashmir and chaired two high-level meetings with officials in Srinagar as part of his two-day visit to the Valley that concluded a day ahead of the much-anticipated speeches by the prime ministers of both India and Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Doval’s appeal came at a time forces in the border state are on high alert after the central government’s August 5 move to nullify Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“While interacting with the Army and BSF [Border Security Force], the NSA stressed that in view of the reports of large-scale infiltration attempts, anti-infiltration grid along the border be kept at high alert and wherever attempts of infiltration are reported, strong action must be taken,’’ said a spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir government.

His appeal coincided with a massive operation along the 180-km International Border (IB) with Pakistan to detect underground, cross-border tunnels in view of possible infiltration attempts by armed terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, officials told news agency PTI.

Doval also asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to take steps to improve the life of common people and directed police and paramilitary forces to intensify anti-militancy operations.

Adding a note of caution while chairing a series of high-level meetings, Doval, who reached the valley on Wednesday and left for New Delhi on Thursday afternoon, also asked officials to ensure there is no collateral damage to civilians or their property, according to news agency PTI.

At the meetings, officials briefed him about the security situation in the Valley.

There have been reports that close to 60 militants have entered Kashmir and another 200 were waiting at the Pakistan army-run launch pads across LoC. Since August 5, only two militants were killed in separate operations — one in old town Baramulla last month and another in Sopore this month.

The spokesperson said, “He (Doval) appreciated that no complaints regarding the human rights violations were reported from any part of Kashmir Valley during the past over one and half month. He urged the security forces to maintain good conduct and peace in the state.’’

He said the NSA was apprised that Pakistan-sponsored militant outfits were indulging in various atrocities on the people, killing shopkeepers, threatening and intimidating fruit-growers.

The security establishment in the state is in a high state of alert and restrictions are in place to thwart any untoward incident. As Kashmir remains in the grip of curbs and tension, all eyes will be the leaders of India and Pakistan in the US on Friday.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan is likely to rake up the Kashmir issue again — this time at UNGA — after failing to get an enthusiastic response in his bid to internationalise the Kashmir issue.