Long lockdown may spur fresh Valley anger: CRPF
The paramilitary force is also concerned about its troops staying in temporary camps that may be “vulnerable” to terror attacks. It is also worried that the extended deployment of so many troops in the valley can make them “complacent”.Updated: Dec 12, 2019 01:55 IST
The Central Reserve Police Force, the lead force deployed for maintaining law and order in Kashmir, has said in an internal assessment that a prolonged lockdown in the valley may give troublemakers a fresh chance “to start a new wave of protests and armed struggle”.
The paramilitary force is also concerned about its troops staying in temporary camps that may be “vulnerable” to terror attacks. It is also worried that the extended deployment of so many troops in the valley can make them “complacent”.
Referring to an intelligence input, CRPF has warned that terror outfits such as Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen recently held a meeting at an undisclosed location in Pulwama where it was decided that JeM will target security forces on highways; LeT will carry out attacks on interior security installations; and HM carry out police/political killings.
About seven additional battalions (approximately 75,000 troopers) were sent to Jammu and Kashmir by the government in August to assist the existing 61 battalions of CRPF and local police in maintaining law and order and conducting counter insurgency operations. On August 5 and 6, Parliament passed resolutions and a law bifurcating Jammu & Kashmir into two union territories and scrapping the special status of the erstwhile state. Since then, the state has been under partial lockdown, under a heavy security blanket. The government has not said when these troops will be withdrawn.
The CRPF’s internal assessment, accessed by HT, states: “So far, the overall security situation has witnessed no major militant attacks (except few grenade throwing incidents or targeted killings) despite a spike in infiltration and movement of militants in the hinterland. Prolonged lockdown may give a chance for a new wave of protests and armed struggle to start again. Terrorists and OGWs (overground workers) may carry out reconnaissance and fine tuning of possible targets to start spectacular attacks at later stage at the behest of Pakistan, (which has been) desperately trying to get international support on Kashmir.”
CRPF has further claimed that by killing workers from other states and stopping of shipments of apples, militants are trying to prolong the lockdown, depriving the valley’s residents from carrying out their routine economic activities, creating “unprecedented human misery and raising mass discontent forcing the international community to pressure India for restoring normalcy by lifting restricting, communications black out, release of preventive arrests and political prisoners.”
The assessment also warned that CRPF’s “prolonged engagement may result in monotony and complacency as most of the companies (troops) are on splinter mode as part of ad hoc security arrangements”, adding that these troops “always remain vulnerable for militant attacks”. The reference is to small CRPF groups being deployed.
The force has accepted the fact that the troops won’t be withdrawn in the near future. The assessment recommends proactively targeting militants instead of becoming their target and having highly graded intelligence inputs, which it says have “virtually dried up” post August 5.
“By now, it seems clear that these troops are going to stay for a longer duration, their adhoc camps and convoy movements will remain vulnerable. Joint security flush out operations are a must for now to keep the militants away from striking distance and generation of quality intelligence inputs are very important which seem to have virtually dried up post August 5,” CRPF analysis states.
It adds that “employment of human intelligence and source creation is the need of the hour to assess the prevailing public sentiments and understanding the evolving security dynamics.”