28 Mountain Division
The area of Gurez valley is generally used by terrorists and their couriers to transship arms, ammunitions and stores for sustenance of terrorists in depth areas of Kashmir valley.
The picturesque Gurez Valley is the northernmost dale of Kashmir, north of the Shamshabari Ranges part of erst while Dardistan, now in POK. For 6 months every year beginning November, this valley is cut off from the rest of Kashmir and India. People survive on their own meagre harvest and the Army units. Their options of livelihood are very limited. They work in their fields and are employed as porters in the Army Posts. The Army here goes out of its way to help the locals. Rations, kerosene, electricity, medicines and even evacuation by air in AF helicopters are provided by the Army. "We wouldn't survive one winter here but for the Army", says Hamidullah Lone working in the education department at Tilel. In keeping with the demands of the locals for more job opportunities, a special recruitment rally was organised recently. Prior to the rally, many boys were given special intensive pre-courses by local Army units to help them qualify the stringent standards of recruiting. As a result, more than 75 boys out of about 400 who attempted the entrance tests will don the uniform in 2001. "A very good result when compared to other parts of India," commented Col Shukla, the Presiding Officer of the recruiting board.
On the occasion of the Infantry day, 28 Infantry Regiments paid tributes to the martyrs. In 2005 the ceremony was led by Lt Gen Devraj Singh, DG Infantry, Infantry's Lieutenant Generals (Colonel Commandants) besides Lt Gen VR Raghvan who would represent the retired officers fraternity.
Close on the heels of terrorist attacks in the valley and depleting snow levels on the ridges and passes, Army foiled a major attempt by terrorists to create bloodshed in Kashmir Valley. On 05 Jun 06 they thwarted the nefarious designs of terrorists by recovering a major cache of arms, ammunition, grenades, explosives and many such war like stores which were planned to be transshipped through the higher reaches of Gurez onwards for the terrorists groups operating in the region. Due to the intense patrolling, domination of infiltration routes along Line of Control (LC) and efficacy of the LC fence, the terrorists were not able to transship this large consignment of arms, ammunition and explosives. They had hidden the consignment in an inconspicuous hide out to be retrieved and transshipped when the window of opportunity existed. Aggressive patrolling and relentless searches in the jungles and nalas resulted in discovery of a hide out in a mountainous cave covered with snow with overhanging shrubs and undergrowth.
A delegation of 27 elders, including three ladies, from Kupwara area visited 213 Transit Camp in early 2007 as a part of operation Sadbhavana. The elders who included moulavis, teachers and village sarpanch were returning after an awareness tour, conducted by 28 Infantry Division, to various places of interest in the country. Col RD Singh Commandant, 213 Transit Camp conducted the delegation and showed them various facilities provided to over 3000 troops who visit transit camp every day. Maulana SD Quareshi, sarpanch of Tangdhar, appreciated the high quality of life being provided to the troops while Mrs Haneefa Begum was impressed with the coaching of the wards of JCOs and Jawans to improve their communication skills.
On 28 June 2007 Jammu and Kashmir police foiled a major fidayeen (suicide) attack when they gunned down three militants before they could storm the headquarter of 28 Infantry Division in the fronitier district of Kupwara in north Kashmir On 03 July 2008 the Army claimed to have killed 11 militants in an encounter near Nasthachun pass in Karnah tehsil of Kupwara district. A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of the Indian Army was also killed. General Officer Commanding Chief of the 28 Infantry Division Major General J. S. Bajwa said that the Pakistani army is giving full support to the infiltrators and there are about 500 militants ready to infiltrate to the Indian side. He also stated that the main purpose of this group was to disturb the coming Assembly elections. The Army's 20 Rashtriya Rifles and 16 JAT were involved in the gunfight.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|