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800 terrorists active in J&K: Army
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January 15, 2009 17:27 IST

Cross-border infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] has been on a decline since 2004, but about 600 to 800 terrorists are active in the state, army's Northern Command chief said on Thursday.

"About 600 to 800 terrorists are active in Jammu and Kashmir as per the assessment of various security agencies," General Officer Commanding in chief (GOC-in-C), Northern Command, Lt-Gen P C Bhardwaj told media persons soon after conclusion of northern command investiture ceremony in Akhnoor, Jammu, on Thursday.  

"You have recently heard director general of police (J&K) there about a bandwidth of assessments by several agencies. The sum of all of them has come up to such a figure," he said.

He maintained terrorists and their leadership are under severe pressure due to the elimination of their top cadre.

Due to this cumulative effect, 335 terrorists have been killed in joint operations during last year, he said.

Referring to cross-border infiltration, Gen Bhardwaj said, "Infiltration is on decline since 2004 due to multi-tier deployment of security we have taken along LoC."

To a question about terrorists being staged along the borderline for infiltration into J&K, he said, "We are concerned. We keep up vigil against infiltration which happens especially in winter months. Security in south of Pir Panchal has been beefed up as infiltration may take place there."

He further said every month throughout the year and for so many years they (terrorists) remain prepared to find any opportunity to infiltrate.

When asked about the build up of troops along the border on the Pakistan side, he said army has increased vigilance along Line of Control [Images].

"We have kept an operational preparedness to a degree that we require at present. Northern Command is a deployed command and along LoC we are always on vigil," Bhardwaj said.

On the number of Pakistani troops there, he said, "My chief of staff has given a very explicit reply and summed up the whole situation on the border on eve of Army Day. As far as our side is concerned, the forward troops are doing their routine defence activity. That is what we have observed."

Asked if there was any change in the terrorist infrastructure across or along LoC after 26/11, he said, "There is no change at all. We have no reports of any closure of terrorist camp. We have always seen change of terrorist places and infiltration patterns over the period of time."

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