Revised SOP leads to surrenders of terrorists
STATE TIMES NEWS
New Delhi: Around 300-400 terrorists trained in camps across the Line of Control (LoC) are ready to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir, Army chief General M M Naravane said on Friday.In his speech during the Army day parade, he also said that there has been 44 per cent increase in ceasefire violations that reflects Pakistan”s sinister design.Pakistan often provides cover fire to help terrorists sneak into Jammu and Kashmir.
Gen Naravane said India”s active operations and strong counter-infiltration grid not only inflicted heavy losses on the enemy but they contained infiltration attempts as well.He said the Army killed over 200 terrorists in counter-terror operations and on the LoC last year, adding these measures have provided people of Jammu and Kashmir relief from terrorism.“Strong response is being given to the enemy on the other border. Pakistan continues to provide safe haven to terrorists. In the training camps, across the LoC around 300-400 terrorists are ready to infiltrate,” he said.“There was an increase of 44 per cent in the ceasefire violations last year which is proof of Pakistan”s sinister plans. There were also attempts to smuggle weapons using drones,” he added.There were efforts to smuggle weapons into India from across the border using drones and tunnels, he mentioned.Gen Naravane said the Indian Army is working towards reorganisation and modernisation in order to increase its war fighting capability.It is working with top education institutions like IITs on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, block chain, quantum computing, unmanned systems, directed energy weapons and swarm drones, he said.Under Make in India scheme of the central government, 29 modernisation projects worth Rs 32,000 crore have been awarded by the Indian Army.In a clear message to China, the Chief of Army Staff said no one should make any mistake of testing India’s patience though it is committed to resolve the border standoff along the northern frontier through talks and political efforts.Gen Naravane said a “befitting response” was given to the “conspiracy” to make unilateral changes on the border and that the sacrifice of the Galwan heroes in eastern Ladakh will not go waste.“We are committed to resolve disputes through talks and political efforts but no one should make any mistake of testing our patience,” he said.“I want to assure the country that the sacrifice of the Galwan heroes will not go waste. Indian Army will not allow any harm to the country’s sovereignty and security,” he added.Twenty Indian Army personnel laid down their lives in a fierce hand-to-hand combat on June 15 last year in Galwan Valley, an incident that marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in decades.China is yet to disclose the number of its soldiers killed and injured in the clash though it officially admitted to have suffered casualties. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35“We are committed to resolve disputes through talks and political efforts but no one should make any mistake of testing our patience,” Gen Naravane said.He said eight rounds of military talks were held between India and China to bring the situation under control.“Our efforts will continue to find a solution to the current situation on the basis of mutual and equal security,” he said.Meanwhile, the Indian Army has changed its standard operating procedure (SOP) for anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir to now focus on ensuring surrenders during live encounters notwithstanding the threat to the lives of its personnel — a policy that has helped save the lives of 17 youths in the last six months.On the occasion of Army Day, four Rashtriya Rifles (RR) units working under the Victor Force, which combats terrorist activities in south Kashmir and parts of central Kashmir, were awarded the coveted Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Unit Citation.The units — 50 RR, 44 RR, 42 RR and 34 RR — have been involved in multiple counter-terrorism operations and have ensured seven surrenders since September last year when it was decided to make efforts to bring the misguided youths back to the mainstream. The citations to the four units drawn from Kumaon, Rajput, Assam and Jat regiments of the Army were presented by Chief of Army Staff in the national capital.Videos of some of the surrenders, accessed by PTI, show that in spite of grave risks, the Army brought parents of the terrorists to the encounter site and convinced them to drop arms.In one of the videos, a terrorist, Zahid, has an emotional reunion with his father, who is seen weeping and telling his son that it is a rebirth.General Officer Commanding of the Victor Force Major General Rashim Bali, who has been supervising surrenders during live encounters, feels that this has generated tremendous goodwill among the local population.This has given a reassurance to the local terrorists that the avenue of their return to the national mainstream is open. “For those who want to join the national mainstream, we are committed to accept surrenders, even by putting our lives at great peril,” he said.At the same time, Major General Bali made it clear that relentless operations will continue against those who pick up guns and resort to violence.In some of the videos, surrendered terrorists could be seen praising the Army for providing them an opportunity to shun the path of violence.The new strategy of the Army came into effect last year when Shoiab Ahmed Bhat of the Al Badr terror group expressed his desire to lay down arms during an ongoing encounter.He was part of the group which had killed a jawan of the Territorial Army in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, but this did not deter the Army personnel in ensuring his surrender and handing him over to police after questioning.
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