No sneak-ins: Early snow keeps infiltrators at bay in Kashmir
Officials monitoring the infiltration bids on the LoC say that over 100 militants have managed to sneak into Valley this year. However, post snowfall, there have been almost no detection of any major militant movement on the LoCUpdated: Dec 26, 2018 10:48 IST
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Early snowfall in Kashmir has prevented fresh groups of militants from sneaking into the Valley this winter.
Owing to season’s first snowfall in November 3, almost all the high ridges and peaks across Kashmir got closed. Contrary to past years, the Valley observed its first snowfall in November this year.
Officials monitoring the infiltration bids on the LoC say that over 100 militants have managed to sneak into Valley this year. However, post snowfall, there have been almost no detection of any major militant movement on the LoC.
“The early snowfall closes the mountain passes and ridges and hence the movement of infiltrators become difficult. There are more chances of getting detected if infiltration bids are made with snow all around,’’ a senior army officer told HT.
Another army officer said that militants sneak into the Valley before October as it becomes difficult for them to enter after snowfall.
Adding that the surveillance is never lowered, the officer said that despite risks, few groups do make an attempt to sneak into the Valley.
As per the official data, 47 militants were killed on the LoC in 2018 while trying to sneak into Kashmir from different sectors of north Kashmir. The attempts were made either by scaling or cutting the LoC fencing from Kupwara, Gurez, Uri and Machil sectors. Last month, two infiltrators were killed by army in north Kashmir’s Keran sector.
However, despite fewer infiltration attempts during the season, officials say that there will be no lowering of guard on the Line of Control (LoC). Hi-tech surveillance equipment and fencing along the LoC is in place to prevent any such attempt.
Infiltration bids shift towards Jammu
Officials keeping a close watch on infiltration say that the militants attempt to sneak into the state via Jammu region, especially during winters.
“Either militants sneak into Kashmir from Jammu region or take chances via some parts of Uri district, which witnesses low snowfall during winters,’’a police officer said.
Both army and police officials put the number of active militants in Kashmir around 250 to 300. This year alone around 238 militants were killed in different operations since January.
“Groups of militants are always waiting for an opportunity to sneak into the Valley,” a senior official said.
Some officials even blame Pakistani army for facilitating their entry into the region during ceasefire violations.
First Published: Dec 26, 2018 10:43 IST