`Militants resurrect militancy by snatching weapons from Cops’

Moazum Mohammad
Srinagar:  With impregnable three-tier security ring and fencing on Line of Control (LoC) preventing infiltration and inflow of weapons and ammunition in the Valley, militants are increasingly turning to indigenous method of weapon snatching from armed  forces to fill their depleting armory.
Over the past two-years, militants have resorted to five hit and run attacks especially in south Kashmir and on Friday evening three self loading rifles and one carbine was snatched from Central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Since 2013, the attackers mainly strike in South Kashmir’s Tral, Pulwama and Anantnag districts and most of the times have decamped with weapons.
Such incidents, police said have added a new dimension to the once waning militancy. “Since 2013, we have seen militants are desperate to snatch weapons. This is mainly as they are running short of weapons to recruit new militants. So having no option but to resort to such kind of loot,” a senior police official told Kashmir Reader.
Since 2004, the government of India erected heavy electric fencing and installed monitors to keep a tight watch on infiltration across the border. The army acknowledged that such mechanism has worked and restrained infiltration.
The official revealed that the problem for militants has mainly aggravated as borders have turned impermeable to carry heavy weaponry. “As the frontiers are sealed by armed forces, there are least chances for infiltration. Whenever militants take risk to sneak into the valley, they don’t carry major weaponry as was seen earlier. So in absence of weaponry for their local counterparts, decamping weapons has become necessary for their survival,” he added.
In majority of the attacks, police sources said attackers have a common modus operandi in looting away weapons from their men. The pistol-borne recruits, they said lay siege around a camp or post that is located away from the markets. “Normally, these incidents have taken place where there is insufficient number of policemen posted. In Friday’s attack, the assailants attacked a lone cop manning a shrine. So that way they succeed in their plans without being noticed. Similarly sometime before in Tral, militants overpowered the cops and snatched three SLR rifles and one INSAS rifle along with ammunition before fleeing from the place. That time also there were only two cops present at the time of the incident,” said a top police official.