‘Pakistan groups trying to send 200 terrorists’
Pakistan-based groups have activated their launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and the International Border (IB) in Jammu in an attempt to send across more than 200 terrorists at a time when the Indian security forces are busy helping the region’s civil administration to fight the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, according officials familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Around 160 terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) are ready to infiltrate into the Valley, according to intelligence inputs available to national security planners. In the Jammu sector, along the border, around 70 armed and trained terrorists are planning to sneak into the Indian territory through unfenced nullahs, the inputs added. Counter-terror operatives said Jaish terrorists were camping at Samani-Bhimber and Dhudhnial launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. LeT has been sending its terrorists to the Leepa and Kel launching pads in Leepa Valley and Neelum Valley, respectively.
Indian security agency officials said that, as part of its plan to intensify infiltration efforts and terror attacks in J&K, the Jaish has been mobilising its cadre across the IB in the Sialkot sector since February. Intelligence inputs also reveal that a group of armed Jaish terrorists arrived in Mundeke village, Daska Tehsil, in Sialkot district on February 11, 2020. There were 133 successful infiltration events along the LoC/IB in 2019 with majority of the crossovers taking place between April and September 2019, according to home ministry official. During January-February 2020, the Indian security forces managed to arrest 48 jihadists and overground workers of terror groups, and neutralised 24 terrorists, including three foreign nationals.
The April 5 encounter in the Keran sector, in which five terrorists were killed in a close-quarters battle, revealed that the LeT had big plans to infiltrate from the Kupwara sector, according to investigators. Five elite Indian commandos also died in the operation.
The LOC/IB infiltration takes place in different sectors: Gurez, Machchil, Keran, Tangdhar, Naugam and Uri in Kashmir; Poonch, Krishnaghati, Bhimber Gali, Sunderbani and Naushera in the Rajouri sector; and Jourian, Hira Nagar, Kathua, Samba and Jammu in the Jammu sector.
While the main outfits involved in the infiltration are Jaish, Lashkar and Hizbul, there are indications, security official said, that the Rawalpindi GHQ wants to revive the Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (Huji) in Sialkot, Punjab and Kotli regions of PoK.