March 2006 News

Good Times Back In J&K

14 March 2006
The Hindustan Times

New Delhi: Militancy-hit J&K hasn't had it this good in a long time. An internal home ministry report shows a marked improvement in the security situation in the state - that is despite some big terrorist strikes in the state and outside, including the recent Varanasi blasts. The reason for the good times is the sharp drop in infiltration from across the border. While 3,500 militants are believed to have crossed over in 2001, the figure dipped to 237 in 2005. And the ones back home have to do with depleting numbers. Militant outfits in the Valley usually have 3,000 men but it's now down to around 1,400. 'Earlier, if the strength dropped below 3,000, more militants were pushed from across the LoC. But our security forces have sharply stepped up alert at the border,' a senior official said. Officials say that though Pakistan, under pressure from the international community, has played a part by gradually reducing support to PoK militant groups, the increased border surveillance was the key. Border fencing has been considerably strengthened with flood lighting and electronic surveillance devices like sensors. The Valley is discovering its days of tranquility.


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