Infiltration up, Jammu and Kashmir troop cuts on hold
The Govt has put a brake on the withdrawal of troops, which saw 36,000 army personnel leave Jammu and Kashmir over the last 18 months, because of renewed infiltration attempts from across the border. Varghese K George & Aloke Tikku report. Mounting concernsindia Updated: Mar 25, 2010 01:56 IST
The government has put a brake on the withdrawal of troops, which saw 36,000 army personnel leave Jammu and Kashmir over the last 18 months, because of renewed infiltration attempts from across the border.
<b1>"Further reduction in troop presence was to take place in current months but it has been suspended,” a senior government source told Hindustan Times, refusing to be identified.
He said all intelligence inputs suggested that desperate attempts were being made from across the border to make up for the lull in terrorism in 2009.
Last year was the most peaceful in Jammu and Kashmir in more than a decade: violent incidents dropped by nearly a third over 2008. Nearly 80 civilians were killed but this was 15 per cent less than the previous year.
“The big challenge is going to be to hold on to this trend… and consolidate the gains made,” a senior government official said.
But that’s easier said than done. Intelligence reports based on interceptions suggest terrorists in J&K are under pressure to step up their activities.
Nearly 110 terrorists had infiltrated into J&K in 2009, twice the 58 who entered India after breaching the multi-tiered security cordon along the fenced border with Pakistan in 2008.
“There was an increase in infiltration attempts as well,” an official at the Home Ministry said. In January alone, security forces recorded 62 attempts to sneak in, or increasingly fight their way into India, through the snow-bound mountains. “We are preparing for a hot summer,” he said.
J&K has more central police forces than the combined strength of central forces in the Northeast.