Militants resorting to low cost, low risk attacks
19 July 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: In a bid to maintain the sagging morale of the militant cadre and finding their local support going down, the militant outfits are resorting to low cost and low risk option of grenade attacks on the security forces and unprotected civilians just to give an impression that they are still in control. The spate of grenade attacks in crowded public places in Jammu and Kashmir that have left scores of innocent people dead, injured and maimed for life has added a new dimension to terrorism in the Valley. Since the beginning of this year, 35 civilians have been killed and 526 injured in as many as 118 grenade attacks. As per a survey, low risk grenade attacks have increased by eighty per cent against the security forces. Relentless counter terrorist operations by the security forces with the active cooperation of public precludes the possibility of head on attacks. This has led to a reversion of the modus operandi of terrorists. This revised policy has the tacit approval of their masters from across the border. Infact, the grenade attacks are a low cost and low risk option whereby terrorist can give an impression that they are still in control in J&K. The troubled State is now on the verge of normalcy. The situation is on the mend, violence levels are on the decline and the economic situation is looking up. The normalcy has been possible mainly due to rejection of the concept of Jehad by the Kashmiri main stream and also due to their active cooperation with security forces in fighting the menance of terrorism. Unable to get local support, ultras are feeling insecure and also finding difficult to target security forces and others in direct attacks. This year, the security forces exerted tremendous pressure on terrorists during winter. People came openly against terrorists and and the intelligence inputs also increased. This resulted in conduct of selective operations that yielded excellent results. Their senior leadership was almost wiped out with the killing of over 35 top commanders of various outfits. Despite such attempts, the improvement in the overall security situation is best elucidated by the increase in tourism, which is the mainstay of the economy of the State. Over the last few years, the number of tourists visiting Valley had declined to a trickle and hit on all time low of 10,000 in 1992. It has been increasing gradually over the year and touched 28,000 in 2002 and 1.91 lakh during 2003. During current year, the figure has already crossed 1.72 lakh up to June and is expected to cross five lakhs mark by the end of the season.