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Soldiers can’t move without weapons in Kashmir: Top officer

Srinagar : The time has not yet come for security forces to move without weapons in Jammu and Kashmir, a top army officer said on Tuesday.

“Time has not come yet for government forces to do normal duties or move freely without arms,”, Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha, GOC of the army’s 15th corps, told the media here on the sidelines of a function at the Badami Bagh headquarters of the 15th corps.

The corps commander was referring to Monday’s attack in Amshipora village in Shopian district in which guerrillas killed three unarmed policemen after dragging them out of a vehicle.

“We learn from every incident and the Amshipora incident has also taught us a lesson,” Lt. Gen. Saha said.

“Three policemen had gone to the village to investigate a matter related to a land dispute, but the militants took advantage and attacked them.

“Whether any militant group takes responsibility for the incident or not, we are investigating the matter and the assailants would be identified,” he said.

Asked whether recent guerrilla attacks indicated revival of militancy in the state, he said the militants had not been completely eliminated and, therefore, the question of their revival did not arise.

“Operations against militants are on and security agencies in the recent past have managed to neutralise top-ranked militant commanders,” he said.

The commander said that with the melting of snow near the border, more intensified attempts at infiltration were expected.

About the revocation or continuance of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), he said the matter was being discussed by the central and the state governments.