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Army-civilian bond strengthened in J&K in 2005

January 15, 2006 16:12 IST
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The three-pronged strategy adopted by the Army has yielded encouraging results as the infiltration from across the border has come down and top commanders of the militant organisations were killed in anti-militancy operations in the Kashmir valley.

The success was acheived only with the cooperation of the local people who are fed up with the violence and wanted peace, a defence ministry spokesman said.

The troops continued with their three-pronged strategy throughout 2005 against the proxy war sponsored by people across the border, he said.

The strategies included maintaining a close check on the infiltration from across the border, relentless operations against militants operating in the hinterland and winning the confidence of the people with civic operations.

It is to the credit of the Army that sanctity of ceasefire has been maintained throughout the year, he said, adding that there were, however, some concerted attempts to cross over to this side.

There were less infiltration attempts as compared to previous years and the militants killed this year was very high, the spokesman said. Increased vigil and border fencing has helped to bring down infiltration drastically.

Top commanders of militant organisations were also killed during the year after conducting successful operation on the basis of information received from local people. Selective targeting of militant leadership continued throughout the year, he said.

Twenty-three per cent of the casualties inflicted on the militants were on the top leaders and Hizbul Mujahidin suffered the maximum casualty with 33 per cent of total leaders eliminated.

A fairly large number of militants were apprehended as compared to the last year. Many surrenders, which showed an increase in the last two months, also took place with 10 per cent by the commanders and more than 50 per cent handed over their weapons.

He admitted that, of late, militants have also changed their strategy and avoided direct contact with the security forces. However, civilian casualties did occur as the militants attacked crowded places with grenades and Improvised Explosive Devices.

The Army's efforts in winning the confidence of the people through active participation in development processes received a perceptible boost in 2005. Thus, the financial outlay for 'Operation Sadbhavana' was increased unprecedentedly since the inception of the project in 1998.

To put education on the right track, many new schools were constructed and many others renovated, he said, adding that a large number of children from far-flung and remote areas were taken on sponsored tours to other parts of the country.

Women empowerment was achieved by imparting vocational training to generate self-sufficiency, the spokeman noted. The unfortunate natural disasters - earthquake and snow storm - saw the traditionally close relationship between the people and Army take on a new dimension of trust, faith and confidence.

The year commenced with the most severe winter witnessed by the valley in the last three decades. With nature's fury coming down relentlessly a large number of passengers, trucks and other ligh vehicles were standed at Banihal and Jawahar tunnel.

South Kashmir witnessed nature's fury at its worst, as many villages in the area were wiped out by snow and avalanches.

However, emergency evacuation of villagers was carried out by the Army at Gurez, Waltengu Nar and Navapacchi regions resulting in saving hundreds of lives. All possible help was extended to the civil administration to provide basic amnities throughout the state during the period of emergency.

The Army also mobilised rescue operations for the quake-hit people instantaneously, he said, adding that makeshift hospitals were erected in open grounds, where a number of life-saving surgeries were performed.

They were also involved in extensive reconstruction work in cordination with civil adminsitration, the spokesman added.

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Source: source