3 terror camps across LoC destroyed, 6-10 Pak soldiers killed: Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat
In a major counter-offensive after Pakistan's unprovoked firing, the Indian Army carried out heavy artillery strikes on Sunday, targeting terror camps and several Pakistani military positions in Neelam Valley in PoK.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event here, he said another terror camp was severely damaged in the action by the Indian forces and the retaliation had caused substantial harm to the terror infrastructure across the Line of Control (LoC).
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was briefed about the retaliatory action, the Army chief said.
"Ever since the abrogation of special provisions (for Jammu and Kashmir), we are getting repeated inputs about infiltration by terrorists from across the border," he added.
"So far, as per the information available with us, 6-10 Pakistani soldiers have been killed and nearly as many terrorists," General Rawat said, adding that more information on terrorist casualty was being obtained.
"Three terror camps have been destroyed and on the fourth one also, we have caused severe damage," he said.
If Pakistan continued with such activities, the Indian Army would not hesitate to retaliate, the Army chief asserted.
Recently, the Army received information that terrorists were coming closer to camps in the forward areas, General Rawat said.
In the last one month, repeated infiltration attempts were made from the Gurez, Keran, Machil sectors and south of Pir Panjal, he said, adding that Pakistani soldiers were resorting to ceasefire violation to provide support to the infiltration bids by terrorists.
"Last evening, an attempt was made in Tangdhar to infiltrate...where we retaliated...Pakistan, at the same time, carried out some firing at the post, in which we did suffer as two of our soldiers got killed and one civilian also died," Gen. Rawat said.
"All this (firing) was done to ensure that they can push in the terrorists," he said.
Gen. Rawat said terror camps across the border were targeted as the Army had definitive information.
"The festival season is approaching, Diwali is round the corner, we had picked up a definitive signal that some of the terror camps north of Pir Panjal were active. Terrorists had arrived in these camps and that they were likely to infiltrate.
"Before they could attempt the infiltration, it was decided that we target the terror camps. We had definitive information and coordinates of these camps and in the retaliatory action that our forces have taken, we have caused severe damage to the terror infrastructure across (the LoC)," the Army chief said.
The terror camps opposite the Tangdhar sector were destroyed, he added.
On the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the state, the Army chief said while Indian forces were trying to restore normalcy in the Valley, attempts were being made from elements across the border to disrupt peace.
"Gradually, things are returning to normal in the Valley, but obviously somebody is working behind the scenes, at the behest of terrorists and agencies, some within and some outside Pakistan and PoK, to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere," he said.
Asked if Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was briefed by him on the Tangdhar incident, the Army chief answered in the affirmative. "He (Singh) has been briefed regularly," he said.
"The defence minister has regularly been in contact with me on this issue," Gen. Rawat said.
"As I said earlier, the political leadership and the military are working in close coordination and that is continuing," he added.
In a major counter-offensive after Pakistan's unprovoked firing, the Indian Army carried out heavy artillery strikes on Sunday, targeting four terror camps and several Pakistani military positions in Neelam Valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).