NIA to unravel Pakistani complicity in Rajouri-Poonch terror attacks

Jan 14, 2023 11:53 AM IST

The twin terror attacks on seven innocents including two children of the minority Hindu community in Rajouri this month were orchestrated by Pakistan based Laskar-e-Toiba (LeT) group’s chief operative Saifullah Sajjid Jutt from Shakargarh sector across the border.

Home Minister Amit Shah’s decision to direct the NIA to investigate all terror incidents in Jammu in coordination with UT police is to nail the complicity of Pakistan based terror groups particularly Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in the twin terror attacks in Rajouri this month.

Home Minister Amit Shah at Jammu on Friday.
Home Minister Amit Shah at Jammu on Friday.

Seven persons including two children from the minority Hindu community in J&K were gunned down in Dhangri village in Rajouri on January 1 and 2, 2023. Inputs suggest that the attackers belonged to Lahore based LeT group, led by Pakistani Saifullah Sajjid Jutt and his Kashmiri wife, even as the focus of Pakistani deep state is on the Hindu community in Rajouri and Poonch districts.

It is understood that Pakistani deep state is also trying to revive terrorism in Jammu region through Harkat-ul-Jihad-Islami (HuJI) with its chief Nasirullah Mansoor expanding the group activities by raising funds in Kuwait and Qatar apart from radicalizing Muslim youth in Rajouri-Poonch areas. Prominent Pakistan based HuJI operatives Shamsher Nai, Imran Zafarwal, Rafiq Nai are also involved in running narco-terror finance modules, recruiting over ground works and coordinating infiltration activities in Rajouri-Poonch-Mendhar sectors.

The reason why NIA has been handed over the investigation is to go beyond the FIR and unravel the conspiracy behind the terror attacks as majority of them are being orchestrated from across the border. “While the JKP registers an FIR and closes the issue after neutralizing the terrorists, the NIA will go into the full operation including funding, overground workers, spotters and perpetrators,” said a senior official.

It is understood that HM Amit Shah was quite terse at the security review meeting in Jammu on Friday as he emphasized on security forces to up their response time to infiltration from across the border and ensure that innocents are not targeted.

Inputs suggest that the Pakistani deep state has asked terrorist groups like Lashkar and Jaish-e-Mohammed to target the minorities in Rajouri and Poonch districts so that polarization on communal lines takes place. The Pakistan based terror groups are quite desperate to increase the level of violence in Jammu by going after soft targets. There is also increasing reliance on so-called hybrid terrorists, part time elements without criminal antecedents most engaged in normal jobs, who return to their routine after carrying out attacks. These “hybrid terrorists” use small arms and perpetrate targeted attacks on unarmed civilians and off duty security personnel.

By carrying out a detailed investigation, the NIA will not only generate data on these pin-pointed attacks but also strengthen the Indian case before the global community on Pakistan terrorism. The NIA will also be able to unravel the use of social media by the Pakistan sponsored terrorist groups like The Resistance Front, a LeT front, People’s Anti Fascist Front, a Jaish front, Kashmir Tigers to spread disinformation on alleged Indian attempts to change the demography of the UT by settling what they call outsider Hindus.

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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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