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