India carrying out targeted strikes on terror launch pads along LoC, says Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

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Published: April 20, 2020 11:41:18 AM

Singh, in an interview to PTI, said the armed forces are not lowering their guard at all while playing a significant role in the country's overall fight to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.

Rajnath Singh, line of control, indian army, Jammu and Kashmir, terror launch pads,Pakistani infiltrators, coronavirus pandemic, indian troops,latest news on rajnath singh“The Indian armed forces are prepared for all contingencies and I can assure the country that we are prepared to defend our sovereignty from adversarial forces in all scenarios,” he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said the Indian Army is carrying out “targeted strikes” on terror launch pads along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and eliminating the Pakistani infiltrators before they cross over to the Indian side.

Singh, in an interview to PTI, said the armed forces are not lowering their guard at all while playing a significant role in the country’s overall fight to defeat the coronavirus pandemic. “The Indian armed forces are prepared for all contingencies and I can assure the country that we are prepared to defend our sovereignty from adversarial forces in all scenarios,” he said.

Notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic in the region, Pakistan has been resorting to unprovoked ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and making concerted efforts to push militants into Kashmir in the last several weeks.

“As you would have gathered from the operations along the LoC (Line of Control) in the last two weeks, we are dominating the enemy through targeted intelligence based strikes on their launch pads and eliminating them before they set foot on Indian soil,” Singh said.

Army Chief Gen Gen M M Naravane visited various forward locations along the LoC on Thursday and Friday to take stock of situation along the frontiers and directed the Army to maintain maximum vigil to foil any attempt by Pakistan to push terrorists into the Indian side.

Military sources said a number of terror launch pads along the Pakistani side of the LoC were destroyed by the Indian Army in the last few days. India has been retaliating strongly to the Pakistani “misadventure” by targeting terror launch pads and ammunition storage across the LoC.

Recently, Keran sector was the scene of a deadly operation in which five elite army commandos laid down their lives while eliminating a group of infiltrating militants. There have been frequent incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistani side since India announced its decision to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two union territories in August last year.

Pakistan often resorts to ceasefire violations to push militants into the Indian side. Indian troops have also been retaliating to Pakistani actions under its policy of hot pursuit. According to official figure, Pakistani troops resorted to 3,200 instances of ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, which was highest in the last 16 years.

Of these, 1,565 ceasefire violations took place since between August and December after the India reorganised Jammu and Kashmir. In 2018, Jammu and Kashmir recorded 2,936 instances of ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
A top Army official said India has not lowered its guard in strategically sensitive areas though it has been engaged in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked how the government is protecting the personnel guarding the borders from coronavirus, Singh said a series of measures are being taken to ensure their safety. “It is important to understand that the soldiers deployed along the borders especially in the remotest regions are the safest, as they are cut-off from all likely carriers of disease,” he said.

India went under a total shutdown of 21 days from March 25 to April 14 to check the spread of coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extending the lockdown till May 3.

The Indian Army on Thursday directed all its military establishments, cantonments, formation headquarters and field units to totally restrict movement of forces in view of the government’s fresh lockdown related guidelines. Last month, Army Chief Naravane issued instructions to insulate the Army personnel from the coronavirus pandemic.

Gen Naravane also conveyed to the families of the soldiers guarding India’s borders with Pakistan and China that the Army is taking care of its personnel serving the country in this difficult time.

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