Indian govt wants army lapses in Kashmir investigated

NEW DELHI: Alarmed by the successive high-impact attacks on the Army in Jammu and Kashmir, Indian government, it is learnt, has strongly conveyed its concerns to the Army top brass over security lapses leading to these incidents and asked for a detailed investigation into this aspect in ongoing inquiries, Indian Express newspaper reported.

Top sources said that initial reports on the August 5 Poonch attack in which five Indian soldiers were killed, and last month’s incident in Samba in which militants entered the officer’s mess of an armoured regiment and killed the second-in-command, have indicated lapses and this has got the highest levels of government quite upset.

In fact, there is discomfiture even over the just concluded operations in the Keran sector. The fact that a large group of militants, be it infiltrators or terrorists waiting to attack an Army patrol, had gained access to the Indian side of the Line of Control has by itself generated considerable concern.

The tall claims to the media in the initial days of the gun battle, sources said, have also not gone down well.

While the defence ministry will take a closer look at the Keran episode now that the Army has finally called off operations, the Samba incident remains a major issue with the government as it came just a couple of days before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York.

Even though the Army has ordered a court of inquiry, the defence ministry has specifically asked the military top brass to account for the lapses and take action against those responsible.

The three incidents together, sources said, have raised serious doubts within the government on the overall military preparedness in J&K as such attempts are only expected to increase. At the moment, however, the Army has been asked to review and step up its efforts.