No major pull out of troops from Kashmir: Army


Jammu : There has been no major withdrawal of troops from Jammu and Kashmir, an Indian Army officer said Monday.

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Answering a question about withdrawal of troops at a media conference, Brig. Gurdip Singh, the Brigadier General Staff (BGS) of 16 Corps, headquartered at Nagrota on the outskirts of Jammu, said: “It is only relocation and redeployment of troops that is going on from certain places where other police organisations must take on a share. There is no major pull out (of troops).”

Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Home Minister P. Chidambram and the state government have maintained that about 35,000 army troops were withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir over a period of one year in 2009.

Gurdip Singh said that there were an estimated 200-250 militants across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu region, south of Pir Panjal, waiting to infiltrate into India. “Troops are on high alert to prevent this and proper surveillance equipments are in place along the LOC,” he said, adding there was no infiltration of militants from Pakistan into Jammu region this year.

The Jammu region has 220 km of International Border (IB) with Pakistan from Kathua – the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir, up to Akhnoor and beyond that is the LOC that extends up to Ladakh through Kashmir valley.

Referring to use of satellite phones by militants, Gurdip Singh said the equipment had to be procured by someone and proper registration made before it could function. He indicated that Pakistan was procuring such satellite phones and passing them on to militants for communication purposes.