Counter-drone equipment deployed; terrorists running short of weapons: Army Commander

STATE TIMES NEWS

Poonch : A top Army commander on Tuesday said counter-drone equipment have been deployed at different places in Jammu and Kashmir to check airdropping of weapons and drugs from across the border.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi said the security agencies have also identified all the places where weapons are being dropped to ensure that terrorists, who are running short of arms, do not get hold of the weapons.

‘300 terrorists active in J&K’
Poonch: Around 300 terrorists are present in Jammu and Kashmir, while 160 others are waiting on the launch pads for an opportunity to sneak into this side from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan, a top army commander said on Tuesday.
However, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi said the security situation in the Union territory has undergone a major change after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 and terrorist activities have been controlled to a large extent.
“Around 300 terrorists are present in length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir but we are making sure they are not able to carry out any action,” the army commander told reporters on the sidelines of platinum jubilee of historic ‘Poonch Link-up Day’ here.
Asked about the number of terrorists present on the launch pads in Pakistan, Lt Gen Dwivedi said around 160 terrorists are present across the Line of Control — 130 in north of Pir Panchal (Kashmir valley) and 30 in south of Pir Panchal.
“As per our data, 82 Pakistani terrorists and 53 local terrorists are active in the hinterland, while the area of the concern is the criminal activities of 170 others who are not identified,” he said.
Reacting to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s recent statement hinting at retrieving Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Lt Gen Dwivedi said a parliamentary resolution exists on the subject, therefore it is nothing new.
“As far as the Indian Army is concerned, it will carry out any order given by the government of India. We are always ready for it,” he said.
On the security situation in Kashmir, the army commander said it has undergone a major change after the abrogation of Article 370 and the civil administration is doing a great job to ensure peace and development and making sure terrorism is put on back seat.
“All the trend lines which were there, are coming down (post abrogation of Article 370), to the extent, and today peace and development has taken the central stage and there is a great space to meet the people’s aspirations. The civil administration is doing a great job in occupying that space and making sure that terrorism is put on a back seat,” he said.
Asked whether the terrorism has been controlled, he said, “Yes, to a large extent.”
However, he denounced the targeted and selective killings and said it shows the frustration of Pakistan.
“The people from outside, the neighbouring country, are adopting other means like smuggling pistols, grenades and drugs to carry out minor actions — targeting innocent and unarmed persons who have come here to earn their livelihood and support the Kashmiris,” he said.
The army commander said it is very sad that such incidents are taking place but police, security forces and the civilians have come together and decided that they will not allow such acts to happen.
“Whatever is happening is very less and efforts are on to further reduce such types of incidents. Anyone who indulges in such types of misdeeds is getting appropriate responses,” Lt Gen Dwivedi said.

“Drone is an evolving technology and in the coming days, you will see action from both sides — they (Pakistan) will try to send drones (with weapons and drugs), we will deploy counter-measures using technology,” the Army commander told reporters here on the sidelines of a programme to mark the platinum jubilee of the historic “Poonch Link-up Day”.
The platinum jubilee of the Poonch Link-Up Day, commemorating the “Operation Easy” conducted by the Indian Army in 1948 to defend the border district from the invading Pakistani raiders, was celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervour by the people of Poonch and Army personnel.
Lt Gen. Dwivedi said terrorists are present in Jammu and Kashmir but despite planning to carry out an operation, they are not able to strike due to a shortage of weapons.
“We have installed counter-drone equipment at different places and are also looking at those places where drones were used to drop weapons. We have earmarked those places and are taking appropriate action so that terrorists cannot get the weapons,” he said.
Sending a strong message to youngsters in the valley, Lt Gen. Dwivedi said they have to come forward and support the Army, which is doing its best to ensure a bright future for them.
“I want to tell the Kashmiri youth that whatever is here is meant for them and we will continue with our efforts for your bright future. You have to come forward and extend your support in this endeavour,” the Army commander said.
He added that nobody benefitted by joining terror ranks over the last 30 years.
“There is no development across the border and see for yourself how India is marching ahead and is going to head G20,” Lt Gen. Dwivedi said.
He said 35 per cent of those recruited by terror outfits are below the age of 20 years and 55 per cent are aged between 20 and 30 years.
“We have to focus on the education and upbringing of the youngsters, provide them an opportunity to move out and see the development in different parts of the country,” he added.
The Army has already sent 1,800 students from Jammu and Kashmir to different states for education, Lt Gen. Dwivedi pointed out.
Earlier, remembering the supreme sacrifice of the soldiers and citizens of the region while defending Poonch, Lt Gen. Dwivedi, Lt Gen. Manjinder Singh, GOC, White Knight Corps, and other senior military and civil dignitaries laid a wreath at the Namansthal War Memorial.
The residents of the area, including a large number of serving and retired Army personnel, members of the civil administration and students, were present on the occasion.
“Poonch withstood a siege by Pakistanis from November 1947 till relieved by the Indian Army. The day marks the historic link-up carried out by Brigadier Pritam Singh’s forces with Brigadier Yadunath’s forces from Rajouri at Danna Ka Pir on November 21, 1948,” a defence spokesperson said.

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