Updated: Oct 23
Terror as a political tool ostensibly to support the separatist defined as, "freedom fighters," by Pakistan has rocked Jammu and Kashmir for the past three decades, first emerging in 1989. There have been multiple waves of terrorism that have wracked the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region, with violence reaching an apogee in the early 2000s. Presently the level of violence is low. Some current issues are highlighted as per succeeding paragraphs.
J&K Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh has indicated that 57 J&K youth went to Pakistan on valid tourist or study visas and joined militancy; thus, the process of security clearance for issuance of such visas was tightened. "250 to 300 terrorists are still there, ready to infiltrate," Singh stated. "We have 57 such youth who moved over to Pakistan in 2017, 2018 on tourist or study visa and joined militancy. Out of these 57, 17 terrorists have been killed while 13 are still active and are well identified. The remaining youth have yet to return," said J&K police chief.
On infiltration, the DGP said, "Four infiltration attempts were made at LoC in Rajouri in the last one month. During these attempts, one infiltrating group was intercepted in Sunderbani Daddal, another one in Nowshera. One group was intercepted and engaged in Bhangai village of Thannamandi four days ago." Groups are seen in the Rajouri area as well as in Bandipora. "It had come to the fore that this group sneaked in from Machail sector of LoC and around fourteen more militants were ready at that very launch pad for infiltration," Singh said.
"Arms and ammunition, IEDs, drugs and money were being pushed in from borders on this side using drones. We accept that drones are a big security challenge. But security forces have successfully recovered 50 percent of such consignments which were dropped using drones," he said.
In a subsequent interaction with the media, the J & K DGP on August 25 indicated that the June 24 drop of IEDs by drones was the handiwork of the Lashkar E Taiyyaba.
Jammu and Kashmir Gaznavi Force a "new terror group was made to carry militancy strikes in a way to disrupt communal harmony. But police have crushed this entire group and even the associates of the group sitting in Arab countries have been arrested," claimed Singh.
A worrisome trend is an attack on political leaders and their families, particularly those of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Apni Party, which is seen as aligned to the BJP.
The resurgence of low level insurgency in the Jammu region is another area of major concern. There were a series of encounters in the Jammu region in the Rajouri, Thaana Mandi area. Post February 26 ceasefire agreement between the DGMOs of India and Pakistan, the Line of Control has witnessed infiltration of militants in Rajouri and Poonch districts, followed by encounters in August.
The surveillance and monitoring mechanism in border districts of Rajouri and Poonch has been strengthened, and the Army has stepped up patrolling on the Line of Control (LoC) as reported by Greater Kashmir.
The recovery of 4 sticky bombs, which formed part of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), on August 13 in the Mendhar area of border district Poonch, has led to major concerns of large quantum of such bombs can be placed indiscriminately on vehicles with ease.
Official sources told Greater Kashmir, "The recovery of these four sticky bombs has been taken as a big threat by security agencies. Sticky bombs have always proven to be a big challenge for forces engaged in foiling militant strikes."
Many observers fear that the direct outcome of the Taliban in power in Afghanistan will be in Jammu and Kashmir. While the security establishment in the State is confident that it will be able to tackle the situation arising from infiltration by the groups such as the Lashkar e Taiyyaba which has been fighting along side the Taliban in some parts of Afghanistan the fact that a country can be liberated from foreign rule by force of terror is a powerful message that will have an impact on the youth of the country and thus needs some consideration.
Director General Border Security Force (DG-BSF) S S Deswal has stated that India "is ready for any eventuality" in the wake of evolving situation in Afghanistan under Taliban, which though, "is that country's internal matter."