Security Agencies Say Nearly 40 Terrorists Have Entered Valley22 May 2011
The Economic Times
Srinagar: Notwithstanding repeated denials by the Army, security agencies in Jammu and Kashmir have reported that nearly 35 to 40 terrorists have entered the Kashmir Valley but were holed up in higher reaches only due to extra layer of security by police and para-military forces. Official reports comprising HUMINT (human intelligence) and TECHINT (technical intelligence) suggest that small groups of six to seven terrorists mainly belonging to Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba entered the Valley through Kupwara and Gurez sectors and have entrenched themselves in Lolab and Rajwar forests in extreme north Kashmir. While army's top brass in Srinagar-based 15 Corps attempted to downplay and present a picture that there was no infiltration this week at a high-level meeting, they were countered by central intelligence agencies with specific inputs suggesting that terrorists had managed to sneak in under their nose, officials privy to the meeting said. The army top brass proposed to take a high-level team to the borders which was, however, shot down saying that there was no fun in examining the Line of Control when the Lashker terrorists had managed to sneak in and the army should rather concentrate more on plugging infiltration routes in coordination with state and central intelligence agencies, the officials said. They said the infiltrations indicated the role being played by Pakistan in pushing terrorists into India . There have been cordon and search operations by the police and army in Sopore, periphery of Lolab, Rajwar belt and upper reaches of Bandipore - traditional areas into which new batches of terrorists have come in to get acclimatised. In a major operation in upper reaches of north Kashmir's infamous Haffrudah area, the army had made huge recoveries of new AK weapons. Recovery of an under-barrel grenade launcher, GPS , ammunition and other arsenal were indicative that a group has moved into this area, the officials said. This was followed by subsequent encounters in Lolab where the terrorists had come into the Valley through Machil sector and in Zaloora area of Sopore where one militant was killed while five others managed to escape. The army officials have been trying to play down these incidents and had no replies as to why there was a sudden increase in cordon and search operations (CASO) in Sopore and adjoining Kupwara and Handwara areas. In the meantime, state police along with central para-military forces have created a fresh line to ward off militants from entering the populated areas of the Valley, the officials said. Frantic wireless intercepts between the militants and their masters across the border in Pakistan were suggestive that the pressure on the fresh arrival of militants was at its optimum from the security forces and they had been directed to remain in higher reaches by their handlers, they said.