Terrorists losing support base in Kashmir valley, local recruitment on the decline

    Security forces wiped out top commanders of terror outfits in Kashmir valley

    Security forces wiped out top commanders of terror outfits in Kashmir valley
    Security forces wiped out top commanders of terror outfits in Kashmir valley

    Operation All Out has yielded fruitful results

    After the abrogation of Article 370 and reorganization of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories, the security scenario on ‘ground zero’ is changing rapidly and more and more people are coming forward to support the role of security forces in neutralizing terrorists in the region.

    Since August 5, a total number of 182 terrorists including few top commanders of different terror outfits have been gunned down by the joint teams of security forces. The highest number of 48 terrorists were gunned down in the month of June 2020 while so far 19 terrorists have been eliminated in the month of July till date. In return around 38 security personnel sacrificed their lives during counter-terrorists/infiltration operations.

    Indian army lost a senior Commanding officer in an encounter in Handwara and para commandos along the line of control while foiling infiltration bids before eliminating heavily armed terrorists.

    Significantly, barring stray incidents the region has not witnessed any major incident of law and order nor stone pelters have come out on the streets displaying Pakistani flags in the downtown areas of Srinagar or at any other location. The hartal calendar, which was once so popular in Kashmir, has almost become redundant as the separatist are facing the heat in different cases of terror funding, hawala transaction, admission racket, etc. The number of local youth joining the ranks of terror outfits has also come down in comparison to previous years.

    Are terrorists not receiving support from the local population?

    Foreign terrorists and local youth who have joined ranks of different terror outfits are running out of luck. They no longer enjoy the same support structure in the hinterland. It is for the same reason the shelf life of a homegrown terrorist is less than three months now. In recent operations, the security forces did not face much resistance from the terrorists during the exchange of firing. From launching cordon and search operations, till the elimination of terrorists the operations were called off in less than 2-3 hours. No major collateral damage was suffered by the security forces.

    Barring a few odd incidents of targeted killing of security forces, the overall number of lives lost has also come down in comparison to previous years. Indian army lost a senior Commanding officer in an encounter in Handwara and para commandos along the line of control while foiling infiltration bids before eliminating heavily armed terrorists.

    In the majority of anti-terrorists operations conducted after August 5, the local Police teams had received pinpointed human intelligence about the presence of terrorists in the area and the same fact has been acknowledged by the senior army officers during their media briefings. Without the support of the local population, it is very difficult for terrorists to survive for a longer duration.

    As per the recent assessment of the security forces, around 250-300 terrorists were camping across different launching pads, waiting for an opportunity to infiltrate inside the Indian territory.

    Due to the complete breakdown of communication facilities immediately after the August 5 lockdown was imposed, the entire ecosystem of terrorists, active across the Kashmir valley, came to a standstill.

    All the movement was put on hold as the security forces remained a dominant force on the ground especially in areas of South Kashmir where these terrorist groups were more active.

    Due to sheer frustration as and when these terrorists stepped out of their hideouts their movement was noticed and came on the radar of the security forces and the operations were launched swiftly to eliminate them.

    Another significant change that is visible on ground zero is the absence of stone pelters from the encounter sites. Interestingly, the stone pelters who used to converge on the streets of Kashmir valley to disrupt the movement of security forces also vanished as communication channels via social media platforms remained blocked due to the suspension of internet services.

    Maximum operations were launched in the South Kashmir districts of Kashmir valley by the security forces to chase away these holed up terrorists from their safe hideouts.

    Compared to the previous year the total number of recruitment has also gone down. After the elimination of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani the number of local youth joining the ranks of terror outfits had gone up but compared to previous years 2020 saw considerable reduction with a lesser number of local youth joining the ranks and taking up guns.

    So far less than 80 youth have joined the ranks of different terror outfits forcing the handlers sitting across the line of control to push small batches of infiltrators to sneak inside the Indian territory. As per the recent assessment of the security forces, around 250-300 terrorists were camping across different launching pads, waiting for an opportunity to infiltrate inside the Indian territory.

    The security forces achieved this feat by banning funeral processions of killed terrorists. The families were not handed over the dead bodies but parents were informed to attend the last rites at a distant location. The strategy worked on ground zero as less number of youth fell prey to the separatist propaganda machinery.

    According to official figures, Pakistan committed over 2,500 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) this year till June 30.

    What DGP of Jammu and Kashmir had to say

    Sharing recent assessment of the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police, Jammu, and Kashmir, Dilbag Singh said the overall law and order situation in the Union Territory has improved and violence levels went down considerably. “Law and order situation has improved significantly while violence has also come down. All security agencies are working in close synergy which is yielding good results,” DGP said during a brief interaction with the reporters.

    According to the senior army officers, the local youth hailing from three districts of South Kashmir are still active and joining the ranks of terror outfits while in all other districts the youth has almost shunned the path of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and keen to join the mainstream to realize his dreams.

    On frequent shelling and firing along the borders with Pakistan, DGP said the ceasefire violations by Pakistan had increased by 50-60 percent as compared to last year. “In 2019, there was an increase of 70 percent in incidents of ceasefire violations in comparison to 2018. And if we compare with last year, there is an increase of 50-60 percent this year. Under the garb of ceasefire violations, Pakistan and its agencies aim to push more terrorists to this side of the border,” senior army officers said.

    According to official figures, Pakistan committed over 2,500 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) this year till June 30. The DGP, however, claimed the number of terrorists had come down. “We are committed to reducing the numbers (of terrorists) further. The border grid has strengthened from earlier times and we are working in close coordination with other agencies due to which cases of infiltration have reduced. One of our police officers lost his life in Anantnag but we have to continually engage in the battle against terrorism,” said the DGP.

    Note:
    1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

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