Hizbul chief visits border; infiltration in J-K increasing | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Hizbul chief visits border; infiltration in J-K increasing

delhi Updated: Oct 10, 2010 11:52 IST

Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has visited terrorist training camps along the LoC with Pakistan Army and ISI officials in a bid to encourage militants to infiltrate before the onset of winter and step up violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

Salahuddin's recent movement has caused concern in the government as renewed attempts are being made from across the border to make up for the "lull" in terrorism after 2009 by pushing militants across the border before, an official said.

Government officials said Pakistan continues to pursue the strategy of pushing infiltrators and triggering violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Infiltration attempts from across the Line of Control increased in the last nine months as compared to 2009.

Nearly 110 terrorists had infiltrated into the border state in 2009 through 413 infiltration attempts, in which 93 terrorists were killed.

This year from January to September, nearly 285 terrorists have attempted to infiltrate. Around 90 of them are believed to have been successful in their attempts.

Officials said nearly 700 terrorists, half of them foreign mercenaries, are active in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to an intelligence input, there are an estimated 42 terrorist training camps in Pakistan. The total number of militants staying in these camps is roughly between 2,000 to 2,500.

The security forces have successfully eliminated 59 terrorists between January to June this year in the state.

"The successive attempts of infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir is a matter of serious concern as many militants have been able to cross over into India," the official said.

Last year was the most peaceful in Jammu and Kashmir in more than a decade with violent incidents dropping by nearly a third over 2008. Nearly 80 civilians were killed but this was 15 per cent less than the previous year.

However, a total of 395 cases of apprehension of infiltration were reported last year as compared to 342 in 2008. There were 573 such cases reported in 2006 and 535 in 2007 along LoC. "There has been no change in the attitude of Pakistan.

They are infiltrating terrorists from the border. It is borne by the facts on the ground," the official said. India and Pakistan share a 740-km Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and a 110-km Actual Ground Position Line that extends up to Siachen Glacier, the world's highest battlefield.