HM to J&K forces: Pur­sue ter­ror­ists with ag­gres­sion

Fo­cus on elim­i­nat­ing ac­tive mil­i­tants be­fore win­ter The Union home min­is­ter’s di­rec­tive comes in the back­drop of re­cent suc­cesses. About 148 mil­i­tants have been killed by se­cu­rity forces since Jan­uary

The Asian Age - - Front Page - RAJNISH SHARMA

In a ma­jor tac­ti­cal shift aimed at con­tain­ing mil­i­tancy in Kash­mir Val­ley, home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh has given a clear man­date to se­cu­rity forces to “adopt a more ag­gres­sive pol­icy of hot pur­suit” against ter­ror out­fits be­fore the on­set of win­ter.

Dur­ing his re­cent four­day visit to Jammu & Kash­mir, the home min­is­ter di­rected se­cu­rity forces to get even more ag­gres­sive in elim­i­nat­ing all ac­tive cadre of the three main ter­ror groups — Hizbul Mu­jahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Jaish-e-Mo­hammed — be­fore the moun­tain passes close on ac­count of snow in the com­ing win­ter sea­son.

Dur­ing the se­ries of meet­ings that the home min­is­ter had with CRPF, BSF Army and Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Group of J&K Po­lice, Mr Singh di­rected them to al­most dou­ble their oper­a­tions as the num­ber of ac­tive mil­i­tants in the Val­ley has dropped to less than 200 and elim­i­nat­ing a ma­jor­ity of them would have a huge im­pact in im­prov­ing the over­all se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the state.

The home min­is­ter’s di­rec­tive comes in the back­drop of re­cent suc­cesses that the se­cu­rity forces have had where 148 mil­i­tants have been killed since Jan­uary this year, in­clud­ing top com­man­ders like Abu Du­jana and Abu Is­mael.

“There is a lot of logic and strat­egy be­hind what the home min­is­ter said as moun­tain passes, the ma­jor route for in­fil­tra­tion, be­come in­ac­ces­si­ble due to snow, re­sult­ing in a sharp de­cline in sup­ply of both, men and ma­te­rial, from across the bor­der. So if we can gun down the re­main­ing ac­tive ter­ror op­er­a­tives, it would have a ma­jor im­pact on the Val­ley’s se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion be­cause it takes time to train and send across new re­cruits,” a se­nior se­cu­rity of­fi­cial said.

Top se­cu­rity sources said they al­ready have “ac­tion­able in­tel­li­gence” on the move­ment of some of the ac­tive mil­i­tants and would be launch­ing a ma­jor of­fen­sive against them shortly. The home min­is­ter has as­sured the se­cu­rity forces that the

se­cu­rity grid along the In­ter­na­tional Bor­der (IB) and Line of Con­trol (LoC) with Pak­istan has been beefed up to en­sure that mil­i­tants are not able to in­fil­trate.

This, sources said, was one of the rea­sons why more than 200 mil­i­tants wait­ing at launch pads close to the bor­der are not able to cross over. “This is go­ing to be a two-pronged strat­egy where, on one hand, we will just go after the re­main­ing ac­tive mil­i­tants, while on the other vir­tu­ally seal the bor­der to avoid any fresh re­in­force­ments... In the days ahead, the sit­u­a­tion will im­prove fur­ther,” an­other se­nior se­cu­rity of­fi­cial added.

Apart from de­tailed dis­cus­sions re­gard­ing counter-ter­ror oper­a­tions, Mr Singh was also given a de­tailed pre­sen­ta­tion on how NIA in­ves­ti­ga­tions into ter­ror fund­ing has man­aged to freeze the flow of funds not just to sep­a­ratists but also Hizbul Mu­jahideen.

Ra­j­nath Singh

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