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
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.