135 militants have infiltrated since Aug 5: Report
Chandigarh, November 18
Three months after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, militant groups have managed to infiltrate nearly 135 of their men into the Valley, as per the latest assessment by central agencies. The number, The Economic Times quoted sources as having said, is less than last year’s when as many as 143 militants entered the Valley from across the border.
According to report, North Block sources said majority of these infiltrations took place after August 5 –– the day J&K’s special status was removed. “Pakistan’s review by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has led to reduction of militant activities and movement along the border between May and July but were stepped up again in August,” The Economic Times quoted an official as saying.
Security forces had identified over 25 entry routes along the Indo-Pak border in J&K after the abrogation of Article 370. A two- to three-tier security was put in place, including an anti-infiltration obstacle system of border fencing along these routes. Apart from the first tier of security of army and BSF, village defence committees (VDCs) along the LoC and IB, police were activated and checkpoints have come up in areas around the border, said the report.
“The sharp rise in infiltration indicates that militants have found new routes to enter to the Valley. They have not carried out any major attack so far but have been ensuring civil curfew by locals,” said a senior official adding that launch pads and camps of Lashkare-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are active in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK).
The Centre’s decision to withdraw special status to Jammu and Kashmir had resulted in sharp reaction from the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government with Islamabad downgrading diplomatic ties with New Delhi. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in a recent interview to French daily Le Monde at Paris, said that Pakistan does not deny sending militants to India.
Last week, the Jammu and Kashmir police killed a Pakistan militant identified as Khalid aka Zebran in Ganderbal. Police said Khalid was associated with LeT.
In 2018, security forces claimed to have gunned down more than 257 militants (both local and foreign) in Jammu and Kashmir. According to the home ministry, there were 328 attempts made last year by militants to enter Jammu and Kashmir from across the border, of which more than half were thwarted,The Economic Times reported.