J&K en­coun­ters kill chances of cell phones com­ing alive

Spurt In At­tacks Feared Be­fore On­set Of Win­ter

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

New Delhi: Curbs on mo­bile phones in the Kash­mir Val­ley may not be lifted any time soon in view of con­tin­u­ing in­fil­tra­tion and in­puts about in­creased at­tempts by Pak­istan-backed ter­ror­ists to tar­get se­cu­rity in­stal­la­tions, con­voys and civil­ians de­fy­ing their shut­down dik­tat.

Ter­ror en­coun­ters over the last week in Ram­ban and Gan­der­bal have served to re­in­force the ap­pre­hen­sion that Pak­istan-backed el­e­ments are de­ter­mined to engi­neer ter­ror at­tacks and cre­ate un­rest, sources in the cen­tral se­cu­rity es­tab­lish­ment said. Restora­tion of mo­bile communicat­ion runs the risk of mis­use of so­cial me­dia to in­sti­gate vi­o­lence, it is be­lieved at the high­est lev­els.

When con­tacted, J&K DGP Dil­bag Singh told TOI, “Ter­ror­ists holed up in the Val­ley and newly-in­fil­trated groups are here ob­vi­ously to in­dulge in at­tacks. They are un­com­fort­able that Kash­miri peo­ple are com­ing out in large num­bers and re­sum­ing their nor­mal rou­tine, and want to dis­rupt this. But the se­cu­rity forces are ad­e­quately de­ployed and we are tak­ing care that ter­ror­ists do not suc­ceed. We will un­der­take pre-emp­tive strikes in the days to come.”

Singh said both the Ram­ban en­counter, in which three ter­ror­ists were killed on Septem­ber 29, as well as ar­rest of a ter­ror­ist from a newly-raised group in Bara­mulla on Sun­day were op­er­a­tions ini­ti­ated by J&K po­lice. Se­nior se­cu­rity of­fi­cers con­ceded that with in­fil­tra­tion and ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity set to pick up ahead of on­set of win­ter, chances of mo­bile ser­vices be­ing re­sumed or top po­lit­i­cal lead­ers be­ing re­leased any time soon were slim. The as­sess­ment co­in­cides with in­puts about a re­cent meet­ing among Jaish-eMo­ham­mad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mu­jahideen com­man­ders in Pul­wama. The meet­ing is un­der­stood to have re­sulted in a “divi­sion of labour” with Jaish tar­get­ting con­voys, LeT se­cu­rity in­stal­la­tions and Hizbul Jammu & Kash­mir po­lice and po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

Sources in in­tel­li­gence agen­cies said ris­ing ceasefire vi­o­la­tions in­di­cated clear in­struc­tions from Pak­istan’s ISI that restora­tion of nor­malcy must be thwarted. “That the Kash­mir is­sue failed to make any im­pact at the UNGA has made the lo­cal peo­ple give up their ‘wait and watch’ at­ti­tude and they are now re­sum­ing their daily ac­tiv­i­ties,” said an of­fi­cer.

PTI

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