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January 10, 2015

Indian troops asked to wait for specific targets along LoC: Chinar Corps GOC


It's a cat-and-mouse game along the Line of Control (LOC). Indian troops have been ordered not to react to cross-border shelling or firing immediately but wait for targets to show. This was revealed by lt general Subrata Saha, GOC of the Srinagar-based 15Corps who is presently in Barrackpore where the Golden Jubilee of the 5th Battalion, Assam Regiment, is being celebrated. The general is 'Colonel', Assam Regiment.

"After all, we have no plans to fight a war so it's no use aimlessly shelling or firing across the LOC. The troops simply stay put while the firing continues and then maintain strict vigil through night-vision equipment if necessary. Whenever a target presents itself, it is neutralized. This has yielded good results. After all, it's better to strike where it hurts," lt gen Saha told TOI.

According to the commander of the Chinar Corps, the terrorists who attacked an Army camp at Mohra in the Uri Tehsil of Kashmir's Baramulla on December 5, 2014, had plans to strike at high value civilian targets ahead of the third phase of the elections in Jammu & Kashmir. The attack led to the death of 11 security forces personnel, including a lt colonel. The terrorists also carried out attacks at three other places over the next few hours till eight of them including a top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander were killed.

"They had crossed the Jhelum into India and split into two groups with the aim to attack high-value civilian targets. One of the groups happened to blunder into the Army camp and was engaged. The stores they carried revealed that they were prepared for a long stand but weren't sufficiently armed to strike an Army base," general Saha added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kashmir on an election tour barely three days later.

According to the general, the situation in the Kashmir valley is under control but political uncertainly continues to prevail. "Ideally, people should get together on certain issues and start working. However, politicians seem to be apprehensive. They probably feel that they would be asked questions by people that they may find difficult to answer. This is probably preventing parties from coming together," he said.

The 5th Battalion of the Assam Regiment, also known as the Rhinos, is one of the most decorated in the Army, comprising troops from across the Northeastern states. It has served across the country and in all major operations including in J&K and the Northeast. It is the only infantry battalion in the Army to have been awarded the battle honour 'Chhamb-71'. Among those attending the celebrations is brigadier (retd) S S Chowdhary, who was the commanding officer when the battalion was raised in 1963.

"After the 1962 War, the government decided to increase strength of the Army and 5 Assam was raised. The battalion underwent and still undergoes a hard and tough training. Things are not too well in the Northeast due to issues like infiltration, demography change and vote bank politics. The problem is that our politicians are selfish. Though the boys in this battalion come from different states, there has been no sectarian trouble," Chowdhary (92) said. 
- timesofindia

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