Operation in J&K's Machil still on to rule out presence of militants: BSF

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Srinagar, Nov 9 (PTI) The BSF on Monday said the operation along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Machil sector, in which four security forces personnel and three militants were killed on Sunday during a failed infiltration bid, was on to rule out the presence of other ultras in the area.

Three Army personnel, including an officer, a BSF constable and three militants were killed as the ultras made a failed infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil sector in north Kashmir's Kupwara district.

'The operation is still on. The area comprises a tough terrain and uneven ground. To rule out the presence of any other militant, a sanitisation operation is on in the area. We will satisfy ourselves that no militant is there,' Additional Director General of the Border Security Force (BSF) Surinder Pawar said.

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the wreath-laying ceremony of Constable Sudir Sarkar at the BSF STC, Humhama on the outskirts of the city.

Pawar said it was an infiltration attempt and not a Border Action Team (BAT) attack.

He said the security forces had received inputs about infiltration attempts by militants in the sector a fortnight ago.

'We received inputs about 15 days ago that militants will try to infiltrate. So our ambush-cum-patrolling party patrolled the area during the night. Around 1 am (on Sunday), the patrolling party observed some suspicious movement and challenged the militants. The militants retaliated and Constable Sarkar was badly injured. But he fought bravely and killed a militant, before succumbing to the injuries,' Pawar said.

The ADG, BSF said two other militants fled the spot and the border-guarding force then alerted its other posts and the Army.

'With the first light on Sunday, the Army and the BSF launched a joint operation in which the two militants were killed. In the exchange of fire, Army Captain Ashutosh Kumar and two soldiers were also killed,' he said.

Asked about the status of infiltration this year, Pawar said only 24 to 25 militants have managed to enter the Indian side of the LoC so far this year, compared to the 135 to 140 last year.

About 250 to 300 militants are at launchpads across the LoC, waiting to infiltrate, the BSF officer said, adding, 'Our counter-infiltration grid is very strong and making improvements to it is a continuous exercise.' PTI SSB RC