Militants In J&K Regrouping After Quake: BSF
27 October 2005
Srinagar: Shaken by the earthquake and the reverses at the hands of security forces, militants in J&K are busy trying to regroup and mobilise overground workers for big strikes next summer. 'Militant groups like Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashker-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in particular are currently engaged in regrouping their cadre and concentrating on better networking by mobilising overground workers (OGWs),' BSF (Intelligence) Deputy Inspector General K Srinivasan said. He said the coming summer 'will be tough and we have to redraw our strategy... We have to address the problem of OGWs as they can be more dangerous than armed militants'. The OGWs not only provided information to militants about the movement of security forces, but gave them shelter, made 'hawala' transactions for them and led people on the road of militancy, the DIG said. Quoting wireless intercepts and ground sources, he said the Oct 8 quake had dealt a severe blow to militants with some 400 launching pads along the LoC, 12 training camps and dozens of buildings housing their cadres reduced to rubble. 'They have already lost the top heirarchy at the hands of security forces in counter-insurgency ops,' he said but there was no indication their commanders perished in the quake. 'The commanders usually stay away from the lower ranks and would have survived,' Srinivasan said. Moreover, there was no let-up in infiltation. 'It is down but has not stopped,' he said. About 450 militants infiltrated this year, the same as last year but the 'Pakistani component' had increased with 85 per cent intruders being foreigners.