99 attacks by terrorists on Army in J&K since 2016: Government

NEW DELHI: There have been 99 attacks by terrorists on the Army in Jammu and Kashmir and 32 in the Northeast since 2016, the government said on Wednesday.

In written response to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said there were 19 incidents of attacks on the Army by terrorists in 2016, 23 in 2017, 54 in 2018 and 13 until July 7, 2019.

In the Northeast, the Army reported six such cases in 2016, 10 in 2017, 11 in 2018 and five until July 2019.

"One incident of a terrorist attack on the Air Force took place on the intervening night of January 1-2, 2016 at Air Force Station Pathankot. No Indian naval ship or establishment has been attacked during the last three years," he said.

All such incidents are enquired into and the Ministry of Defence constituted a committee under Lt Gen (Retd.) Philip Campose to look into the incident at the Air Force Station Pathankot and to recommend remedial measures to strengthen security of various military establishments across the country, Naik said.

"Based on the Committee's recommendations, various measures including strengthening of physical security through layered defence and perimeter security, deployment of Quick Reaction Teams, use of airborne platforms for security of defence installations have been instituted. Periodical review of the security arrangements based on threat assessment to devise suitable measures are adopted to counter such threats," he said.

In response to a question on the strength of pilots in the Indian Air Force, Naik said the available strength is sufficient to meet the current operational requirements.

Replying to another question, Naik said 8,39,338.437 acres of land was acquired by the Ministry of Defence after Independence. Of this, 3,73,044.759 acres of land was acquired alone in Rajasthan, while there has been no acquisition of land in Mizoram.

In response to another question on a fire during the construction of a warship, he said the incident took place on board Yard 12704 at Deck 30 on June 21 when tank cleaning was being carried out by a contractor's worker using a portable electric grinding machine for cleaning.

One casualty was reported, he said.

"A committee has been constituted to investigate the cause of fire. Preliminary investigations indicate that the fire might have been caused due to short-circuit in the contractor's portable electric grinding machine that was being used for tank cleaning work," he said.

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PTI