Chennai: In a startling disclosure, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday said that the terrorist camp at Balakot across the border in Pakistan, which was destroyed by the Indian Armed forces in a surgical strike in February, has been reactivated “very recently”.
The General also hinted that India could “go beyond” the February 26 early morning strike in Balakot.
Addressing journalists at the Officers Training Academy in Chennai, the General said that at least 500 persons were waiting to sneak into India but adequate measures have been taken to thwart the infiltration.
The terror camp has been reactivated, and now “they have got their people back,” he said.
Questioned if India’s response could be a repeat of February 26, he shot back, “Why must we expect a repeat of a similar thing? Earlier we did something, then we did Balakot, why not keep the other side guessing as to what we will do? Why tell them what we are going to do? Why not keep them guessing? Why say ‘repeat’? Why not something beyond that?”
According to him, the number of those waiting to infiltrate kept fluctuating. “But, I would say, yes, there are at least 500 people who are waiting to infiltrate. That is the minimum number I would say. But, these numbers keep fluctuating depending on the weather pattern.”
With the snow melting, areas in the northern part of Jammu and Kashmir towards Gurez Valley were getting “activated”. “As of now, we have taken adequate measures, we have pushed in more troops, we have increased deployment along LOC to ensure that infiltration is curbed to the maximum extent,” General Rawat said.
On the Kashmir front, he denied that there was any clampdown. Blaming terrorists for portraying a picture of unease in the Valley, he said, that if there was any communication breakdown it was between “handlers of terrorists operating from Pakistan and terrorists in the Valley.” He also claimed that shops were open but had downed the front shutters fearing harassment by militants.
By Dravida Thambi