August 2016 News

100% Increase In Infiltration Of Militants This Year

30 August 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: The infiltration of militants into Kashmir valley has gone up by over 100 percent this year despite Army being on high alert along 400 kilometer long Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir. According to Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) figures, 72 militants, mostly belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), have infiltrated into Kashmir this year till July while last year the number was 35 for the whole year. However, a senior police officer said that it is a conservative estimate and as per the ground reports the number could be double than that of the official figure. He said some of the groups, who have recently infiltrated into Kashmir, are yet to come under security forces radar. The security agencies gave two reasons for the increased infiltration this year. One, Pakistan wants to step up militancy in Kashmir and second, this year the security forces achieved major success against militants by killing 102 of them so far which is highest in recent years. Sources said that there are more than 40 training camps operating in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) with 19 of them most active and are imparting map reading, GPS use, weight, weapon and tactical training to the militants who are sent to launching pads along the LoC for infiltration. These training camps are at Skardu, Kel, Karko, Dullu, Titwal, Chakoti, Kotli, Dehri, Barhal Mirpur and Chaprai. Army said that over 200 highly trained militants are waiting on these launch pads for infiltration and Army is on heightened alert along the LoC to foil their attempts. The Army patrols along and beyond the LoC fence have been intensified to foil infiltration attempts by militants who are conducting recce daily. Army has also intensified search operation in the forests of North Kashmir so as to tackle the infiltrated militants there only and prevent them from coming out to the populated areas. Sources said that this year surprisingly Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit that had infiltrated last group in 2012, has infiltrated two groups of militants, 6 each, since July. They said that 4-5 militant groups of Hizb are waiting on launch pads along the LoC at 5 different places, mostly in Neelam Valley. They said that there are more Hizb militants in the training camps who will move towards launch pads soon. Hizb which is the indigenous militant group has sympathizers across Kashmir and they are also recruiting educated youth and have activated their Over Ground Workers (OGWs) as well during the unrest.