April 2000 News

Large-scale infiltration in J&K feared

12 April 2000
Times of India
Bisheshwar Mishra

New Delhi: The Union home ministry is apprehending large-scale infiltration of foreign mercenaries into Jammu and Kashmir in April-May this year. Intelligence reports with the ministry indicate a massive build-up along the international border and the Line of Control (LoC). ''As many as 5,000 militants have been trained and armed, and are ready to cross into India from the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK),'' said a senior government official based on the intelligence reports. Besides infiltration of foreign mercenaries after snows melt and passes clear in the summer, the intelligence agencies also expect rise in recruitment of local militants in the area. According to intelligence reports from across the border, militant and fundamentalist outfits have declared 2000 as the year of liberation of Kashmir through jehad, the senior official said. Pakistan''s diplomatic failure during the Clinton visit to Islamabad has led to fundamentalist forces increasing their pressure on the army forcing it to increase its scale of engagements in India, the intelligence agencies point out. That militancy related incidents in March were many more than in February shows increase in anti- India activities in the Valley, home ministry sources say. February recorded 166 militancy related incidents; among them 81 attacks on security forces, 38 on civilians, 23 explosion, five cases of arson, seven abductions, three extortions and nine inter-group clashes. In comparison, March saw 208 incidents of militants'' violence: 116 attacks on civilians, 27 explosions, four cases of arson, 15 abductions, three extortions and 11 inter-groups clashes. Against 190 casualties in February, the figure in March went up to 240. The number of terrorists killed in gun-battles in February almost doubled in March: 76 in February (of these 11 were foreign mercenaries) and 126 in March (of these 28 were foreign mercenaries), sources said. They feared the militancy related incidednts would grow more in the coming months.


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