With around 300 terrorists reported to be waiting across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to sneak into Kashmir Valley, the Indian Army is taking steps to “re-calibrate” its counter-infiltration grid and counter-insurgency strategies to check the intrusion.
Lt Gen B S Raju, who is commanding the strategically-located XV corps in Kashmir, has also asked his formations to take adequate precautions during patrolling along the Line of Control (LoC) in view of the coronavirus outbreak with the possibility of the infiltrating terrorists having infection not being ruled out.
The field intelligence units of the Army coupled with inputs comprising HUMINT (human intelligence) and TECHINT (technical intelligence) indicate that around 300 terrorists, mainly of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), are waiting across the border to sneak in, officials said, citing reports from Srinagar collated in the national capital.
As many as 16 launch pads along the LoC had been activated in the recent weeks by the Pakistan Army and its external snooping agency ISI which included those located in difficult terrains like Nowshera and Chhamb from where the terrorists are known to enter the Gulmarg area of north Kashmir.
The reports said Gen Raju has been regularly holding meetings with the formations to work on the re-calibration of Counter Infiltration Grid (CIG) to ensure that no terrorist gives the slip and reaches the hinterland after crossing the LoC.
The increased attempts from across the border to push in militants are also being factored in by the Army in its new approach.
In the event of an engagement at the LoC with the terrorists, the troops have been asked to handle any bodies with utmost care as they could be infected with the novel coronavirus, the officials said.