J&K authorities struggling to tackle infiltration, terror recruitment
Failure to curb infiltration from across the Line of Control and putting a check on local recruitment of youths in terror groups remain a constant source of worry for security agencies in militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir, officials said Sunday. Analysing the trends of 2018, it has been seen that infiltration figures continue to remain unchanged at around 140 terrorists successfully sneaked into the Kashmir Valley, the majority of whom are believed to be of Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group, they said. Although around 110 terrorists were killed during infiltration, the successful number of crossovers continue to worry the security agencies.
During recent meetings with Army and BSF officials, it has been brought to their notice that the counter-infiltration grid needs to be further strengthened as militants may try and sneak in during the peak winters as well. "It is not only the Line of Control, which stretches from Poonch in Jammu to Kupwara in Kashmir but also an international border, which has been exploited by the terror groups," said a senior security official on condition of anonymity.
The Army and the BSF have been maintaining that they have been able to substantially curb infiltration, but their assertions were negated by the arrest of some of the terrorists during 2018 who spoke about bringing in militant groups successfully, the official said. According to the officials in the know of the security situation in the state, around 130 foreign terrorists were still active in the Kashmir Valley who were mainly tasked to impart training to local youths, who were lured into the militant ranks and files.
Besides infiltration, inability to check the flow of local youths to the militancy fold continues to worry security agencies. While local recruitment crossed the 100 marks from four districts of South Kashmir. A careful analysis of South Kashmir shows that 104 local militants from this area have been killed during the last year, showing that the area is dominated with more numbers of local militants. The year has gone by saw the maximum number of local terrorists killed in the region which has accounted for over 250 militant killings in the last five years.
Considered a highly politically sensitive area of the Valley, South Kashmir has virtually turned into a virtual breeding ground for militants with many youths joining their rank and file or becoming their sympathisers. The areas have seen a better intelligence network of terrorists, the assistance of people to local terrorists, heavy turnouts at the funerals of militants and stone-pelting on security forces even during encounters.
Comprising four districts – Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian– South Kashmir has been on the boil ever since the killing of terror group Hizbul Mujahideen's poster boy Burhan Wani in July 2016. The intelligence network of the militant groups, which had ended in the mid-1990s, is understood to have revived again and the terrorists come to know about the advancement of security forces, giving them the advantage to flee the area, the officials said.
(With inputs from agencies.)