By Maj Gen Sukhwant Singh
18 Jun , 2015
19 Infantry Division under Maj Gen ED ’Souza was responsible for denying ingress to Kashmir Valley and protecting vulnerable areas against sabotage by infiltration. Because of snowfall and the severe winter conditions, the operating environment, especially for the attacker, was climatically disadvantageous and no major offensive along the high passes towards the valley was considered possible.
But the exploitation of pro-Pakistani elements in the valley by staging a limited revolt against established authority could not be ruled out. To relieve D’Souza of internal security duties, a separate sector called V Sector was organised under Maj Gen Patankar and all the paramilitary forces deployed in the valley were placed under his command. Unlike in the 1965 conflict, D’Souza did not have to look back while fighting forward on the ceasefire line to ensure the security of the valley. This was done by Patankar.