ISIS In India: Terror Group Is Trying To Gain Foothold In PoK, Says Army

JHANGAR (NOUSHERA) -- Terror outfit Islamic State (IS) is trying to gain a foothold in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, a senior Army official said today.

"Whatever inputs we have, IS has not taken in a major way, but they are definitely trying to gain foothold in the area (PoK)", General Officer Commanding (GoC), 16 Corps, Lt Gen K H Singh told reporters on sidelines of an army function here today.

He was replying to a question on the threat perception of IS in PoK amid media reports about the terror outfit's presence in the valley.

Lt Gen Singh said that there were around 200 to 225 militants in 36 launch pads across the Pir Panchal range waiting to infiltrate into the Indian side.

The terror infrastructure across the border was intact and training camps were still active, he added.

The Indian Army today celebrated "Jhangar Day" to commemorate the sacrifice made by Brigadier Mohd Usman, who was martyred during the 1947-48 operation in Noushera sector of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir.

Brigadier Mohd Usman had played a pivotal role as commander of 50 Parachute Brigade during the recapture of Jhangar and the battle of Noushera, which earned him the title of 'Noushera Ka Sher'. He was posthumously awarded the "Maha Vir Chakra".

The officer also laid wreath on the War Memorial and felicitated family members of martyred soldiers and interacted with the locals of Noushera Tehsil who were recently treated in Medical and Artificial Limb Camp.

To a question on whether terrorists were planning to target the ongoing Amarnath Yatra, General Officer Commanding (GoC), 16 Corps, Lt Gen K H Singh said there were general inputs about possibility of such an attack.

"I cannot share specific inputs with you, but yes there are general inputs that terrorists might try to attack the Yatra. There are 13 to 14 Yatras going on in the region," he said, adding terrorist from across the border were planning to infiltrate and create problems.

Lt Gen Singh said that Pakistan continues to support terrorists and the terror infrastructure across the border was intact.

"Though there were fewer incidents of ceasefire violations this year as compared to the previous year, we have credible inputs that terrorists are taking time to re-energise themselves to infiltrate and launch attacks in Indian side," he said.

Commenting on a recent report that terrorists groups have infiltrated into the Indian side through the LoC in the Rajouri sector he said, "As per our multi agency inputs there are no such confirmed inputs of a group having gone through and entered our side."

On a recent report by Amnesty International India, he said, "Let me be clear that Army does not tolerate any human rights violations committed by our men."

"All cases that come to us are investigated by an independent agency. In the past 10 years there were more than 300 allegations of Human Rights violation made against the Army and in only five or six odd cases the complaints were found to be genuine and the guilty were punished," he said.

To a question on whether the militant outfits in Valley were trying to recruit youth in Jammu he said, "They may be planning to recruit volunteers to join their ranks in Jammu as well to increase their area of operations."

"Indian Army is prepared to defeat the designs of the terrorists. The counter terror operations are effective and the Army is making the Indian nation proud," he said.

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