‘Sharp rise in in­fil­tra­tion bids in J&K since Aug 5’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - [email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: There has been a sharp rise in in­fil­tra­tion of ter­ror­ists into J&K since the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of Ar­ti­cle 370, which is seen by in­tel­li­gence agen­cies as a clear sign of Pak­istan­based ter­ror groups try­ing to cre­ate dis­tur­bances in the Val­ley with ter­ror strikes.

Sources in the cen­tral se­cu­rity es­tab­lish­ment told TOI that as many as 40-50 ter­ror­ists have sneaked into Kash­mir Val­ley since Au­gust 5 when Cen­tre’s de­ci­sions on J&K status were an­nounced, as com­pared to just six in­fil­tra­tion cases in July.

The spike in cross-bor­der in­fil­tra­tion comes amid in­tel­li­gence in­puts that Pak-based out­fits like Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed have ac­ti­vated ter­ror launch­pads near the LoC, with over 200 ter­ror­ists wait­ing to cross over. These launch­pads are said to have been tem­po­rar­ily aban­doned fol­low­ing the air strikes by In­dian Air Force on Jaish fa­cil­i­ties in Balakot in Pak­istan in Fe­bru­ary this year.

A se­nior para-mil­i­tary officer said the push­ing in of a large num­ber of ter­ror­ists by LeT and Jaish in­di­cates their at­tempts, un­der in­struc­tions of ISI, to stir trou­ble in the Kash­mir Val­ley with some big ter­ror at­tacks. With aver­age life of a lo­cal ter­ror re­cruit in Kash­mir hav­ing been dras­ti­cally re­duced to any­thing be­tween a month and six months, thanks to sus­tained in­tel­li­gence-based op­er­a­tions by the se­cu­rity forces, there is now a con­scious move to rely more on hard­ened for­eign fighters to carry out lethal and fi­day­een strikes.

Ter­ror­ists have not been able to carry out any big at­tack since Ar­ti­cle 370 be­came a dead let­ter. Even en­gage­ment of forces with ter­ror­ists have been fewer. While this can be at­trib­uted to pre­oc­cu­pa­tion of the forces in the ini­tial month af­ter ab­ro­ga­tion, with manag­ing law and or­der, some of­fi­cers ad­mit­ted that the com­mu­ni­ca­tion shut­down in the Val­ley has dried up tech­ni­cal in­tel­li­gence about lo­cal hide­outs, move­ments and plans of the ter­ror­ists based in the Val­ley.

“The spike in in­fil­tra­tion and the fact that ter­ror­ists are ly­ing low means that they may be plan­ning some­thing big,” said an officer.

As per fig­ures ac­cessed by TOI, a to­tal 11cross-bor­der in­fil­tra­tion at­tempts into J&K were recorded in July.

Of the 11 in­fil­tra­tion at­tempts in July, 5 were re­pulsed by the bor­der guard­ing forces even as 6 ter­ror­ists man­aged to cross over. How­ever the month of Au­gust has seen 40-50 suc­cess­ful in­fil­tra­tions, which trans­lates into a 7-8 times in­crease over July.

In­fil­tra­tion this year has been low, es­pe­cially in wake of the IAF air strikes on Jaish fa­cil­i­ties deep in­side Pak­istani ter­ri­tory. Ac­cord­ing to a writ­ten re­ply in Par­lia­ment, min­is­ter of state for home G Kis­han Reddy said the net in­fil­tra­tion in the first six months of this year was 43% lower than the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod of 2018.

PTI

As many as 40-50 ter­ror­ists have sneaked into Kash­mir Val­ley since Au­gust 5 when the Cen­tre re­voked J&K’s spe­cial status, say sources

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