Government warned of spike in violence in Jammu and Kashmir, no troop withdrawal
Agencies are apprehensive that there will be fresh attempts to push in terrorists especially those from Afghanistan who are not only well-trained but battle-hardened as well.Updated: Jan 11, 2020 07:29 IST
New Delhi is gearing up for a hot summer in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The government has been warned by security agencies of a possible spike in violence after the meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) concludes. Pakistan is in the Grey list of the FATF for money laundering and terror financing.
Agencies are apprehensive that there will be fresh attempts to push in terrorists especially those from Afghanistan who are not only well-trained but battle-hardened as well.
“There are very credible inputs about terrorists from Afghanistan trying to infiltrate March onwards and the area of infiltration may not be limited to J&K only and could take place through areas such as Punjab and Rajasthan as well,” a senior ministry of home affairs (MHA) official said on condition of anonymity.
In addition, there are about 350 and 400 terrorists already in the valley, according to estimates of the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC), a platform headed by the Intelligence Bureau which collates, evaluates and shares information among users.
To address the possible threat, MHA decided against pulling out any more troops.
The Jammu and Kashmir security grid was strengthened with nearly 850 companies of paramilitary forces – each company comprising 100 men – apart from the military and police prior to August 5, when Parliament passes laws and resolutions to bifurcate the state into two Union territories and scrapped constitutional provisions that gave the region special status. Of the 850, only about 100 companies have been withdrawn since.
This summer, at least 700 companies of the paramilitary forces will continue to be positioned in J&K.
“There cannot be further draw-down of forces,” said a second senior MHA official who asked not to be named. “We expect local and foreign terrorist who are lying low to try and regroup in summer.”
Meanwhile, the fence along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Actual Control is being changed, a third senior MHA official said on condition of anonymity.
The current concertina wire fence is being replaced by a “fence with feature of anti-rust, anti-climb and which cannot be cut either,” to plug vulnerable and infiltration-prone patches along India’s sensitive border with Pakistan.
The single-row fence, with loops of concertina wires on top, is being erected at a 60-km border stretch in near Amritsar in Punjab.
A “pilot” of this new fence was tested on a 7-km stretch in Assam’s Silchar along India’s border with Bangladesh. The fence will cost about Rs 2 crore a kilometre.