January 2020 News

After Decline, Anti-militancy Operations Intensify Again In Kashmir

26 January 2020
The Deccan Herald
Zulfikar Majid

Srinagar: After witnessing decline for almost five months, anti-militancy operations by security forces in Kashmir have intensified again with 12 militants killed in six encounters since January 1. After communication blockade was imposed in Kashmir on August 5 when the Center revoked JK's special status under Article 370, the flow of information regarding the movement of militants had almost dried up in the absence of mobile and internet connectivity, a senior police officer involved in counter-insurgency operations told DH. 'As militants use mobiles and internet frequently, it become easier to trace their location. But that option was temporarily unavailable. Also our source network had become defunct in the absence of mobile connectivity,' he said. However, the officer said, as the mobile and internet services were restored gradually, the information regarding the movement of militants has once again started to flow which is the reason for the increasing number of encounters in recent days. According to police data, a total of 154 militants were killed in gun battles across Kashmir in the first seven months of 2019. In next five months, only 20 militants were neutralized by the security forces. Last September, a report prepared by the security agencies had revealed that there were a total of 273 militants operating in Kashmir. 'Out of the 273 active militants, 158 are based in south Kashmir, 96 in North Kashmir and 19 militants in central Kashmir. At 166, the local militants outnumber the 107 foreign militants operating in Kashmir,' the report revealed. Last week JK police chief Dilbag Singh said operations against militants in the valley have intensified which has created a stir in south Kashmir. 'There have been half-a-dozen successful operations (in January) and they will continue in the same manner,' he added. With reports of 130 militants managing to infiltrate into this side last year, there is every possibility that encounters between ultras and security forces will intensify in the coming months. While at present all the infiltration passes are closed making infiltration difficult, reports suggest that as and when snow melts and passes open, Pakistan will again push militants into this side by resorting to heavy ceasefire violations. 'There are credible reports that militants are being trained at various camps in Pakistan and they are waiting for 2020 summer to infiltrate into this side. The militants who are already present in the Valley and those who are waiting to infiltrate indicates that a bloody summer is awaiting in Kashmir,' a senior army official said.

Line