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LoC fences keeping out infiltrators: Army chief

May 01, 2004 17:02 IST
Last Updated: May 01, 2004 17:49 IST

Indian Army chief General N C Vij has said fencing work on the Line of Control has been effectively keeping out infiltrators from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The fencing work on LoC has almost been completed and work in some of the areas is nearing completion," Vij told reporters in Jammu on Friday. He said the vigilant troops had thwarted three infiltration bids in the past few months and that there was no more infiltration from across the border at present.

But he cautioned that when the snow melts and the passes open the troops would have to wait and watch to judge the exact trend of infiltration. "It is only after two months that we can exactly say whether infiltration has declined," he said. "As of now, because of fencing and snowfall, the level of infiltration is low."

General Vij also said the strength of foreign mercenaries had gone down by 50 per cent as the army had eliminated most of them in recent times. Local militants are also lying low, he said.

He said the Al Qaeda could be supporting and encouraging militant outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir, though it is not directly involved in militancy in the state.

"There could be a nexus between Al Qaeda and militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir, but the outfit is not directly involved," he said. 

Acknowledging that incidents of poll violence in the state were unfortunate, the army chief added that the violence was less than in preceding years during the parliamentary elections.


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