New Delhi: The Indian Army’s major strike against terrorist launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on Sunday was crucial to stop infiltration ahead of the winters to stop attempts to create unrest in the Valley over the effective scrapping of Article 370.
According to sources, Indian intelligence agencies had been given a clear-cut directive: stop terrorist infiltration to Kashmir at any cost as the cross-border militant groups would try to push in as many cadre as possible in these months.
The Army had destroyed three such terror launch pads in the Neelam Valley of PoK with heavy artillery fire and caused significant damage to a fourth one, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Sunday.
Sources revealed that the terror groups had been filling these launch pads near the Line of Control with fresh recruits over the last month and ground intelligence inputs had in the first week of October informed about the presence of terrorists from three outfits – Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Al Badr. The GPS locations of these terror launch pads were identified and shared with Army in Delhi as well as Srinagar.
Once the GPS locations were received, the security establishment, government officials said, set satellites on these places and started tracking movement in and around them. They said this confirmed that these were terror launchpads, as “movement of civilians and terrorists are always different” without elaborating further.
General Rawat had said that around 6-10 Pakistan Army soldiers were also killed in the cross-border strikes, and the number of terrorists killed could be higher. The government sources put the final figure of terrorists killed at 18 and the number of Pak Army personnel at 12. The strike also led to the death of six civilians, they said.
The Pakistan Army used ambulances in the middle of night to carry these dead bodies from the locations.
Pakistan has denied India’s claims of the strike on terror launch pads and said it can arrange a visit of diplomats from P5 nations to the area to expose Indian "falsehood".
The Pakistan Army has shown only the houses of civilians destroyed in the strikes to portray it as “indiscriminate shelling” and not a precision strike.
The Indian retaliation had come a day after Pakistan military resorted to firing in Tangadhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Control to assist infiltration by terrorists, killing two Indian Army personnel and a civilian. Three others were also injured in the attack.