SRINAGAR: After grappling with the law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir for more than five months, the government’s security establishment has trained its guns on counter-insurgency operations in the Valley, officials and sources said.
“We have already intensified our operations without creating much hullabaloo about it,” Director General of Police SP Vaid told Kashmir Reader.
There has been an increase in militant-related activities since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen’s commander Burhan Wani on July 8. The killing, which caused state-wide protests for the next five months, also paved the way for several youth, mostly in south Kashmir, the native area of Burhan Wani, to join militant ranks.
Another top security official confirmed that the focus of the security establishment has returned to counter-insurgency after months of handling the law and order situation. Sources The official also said that there will be an amplification of anti-insurgent operations in the coming months.
According to official estimate, the number of militancy-related activities in 2016 was higher by at least 100 incidents as compared to 222 and 208 incidents in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Security officials put the number of youth who joined militant ranks in 2016 at close to 80, at least 59 of them having done so after the killing of Wani. Of these, more than a dozen have either been apprehended or killed.
There is an increase in security vigil across the Valley and security has been beefed up at several locations, especially around the National Highway 1A. Sources in the security departments also confide that surveillance has been increased across Srinagar city, particularly at locations that act as entry and exit points to the city and at several link-roads connecting north Kashmir with the southern part of the Valley.
“There is often an attempt by militants in north Kashmir to move towards the south, where the weather is not as severe as in the former,” a senior security official said.
“There hasn’t been much snow yet, but once there is snowfall, we expect a halt in infiltration from across the border,” DGP Vaid said.
A senior police official disclosed that snowfall has several advantages for counter-insurgency measures. In the winter season, the official said, most of the insurgents who usually hide deep inside the forest in the upper reaches of the Valley come down to escape the harsh weather. “This gives us an opportunity to intercept them in between,” the official said.