The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir has been suffering from terrorism since 1989. Terrorism marked its arrival by carrying out a series of blasts in the Kashmir region in 1988. It subsequently expanded to other parts of J&K with a well-planned strategy. Initially, local people were involved in this terrorism but subsequently, the character of the terrorism changed, and the movement was hijacked by the terrorists primarily based in Pakistan. For their success, these terrorists adopt unconventional methods and maintain operational secrecy. Though they get instructions from their masters across the border, they maintain discipline and secrecy in all their activities. There have been different phases of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir for the last three decades.
This year, the number of terror incidents in July was 31 compared to 59 in the same month last year. Total terrorists killed in July were 5 compared to 17 last July as per the statistics of the South Asian Terrorism Portal (STAP).
A drone was spotted flying along the Line of Control (LoC) near Baloni in the Krishna Gahti sector in Poonch District of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on 15 July, and it was forced to retreat after Indian Army troops opened fire, reports Daily Excelsior. The sources said the alert troops opened fire, and the flying object returned to the Pakistani-occupied Kashmir (PoK) side. Following the incident, the Army and the police launched a search operation in the area.
It is believed that about 170-180 terrorists opposite the Kashmir region and 90-95 terrorists opposite the Jammu region are waiting in various launch pads to enter J&K. Within the hinterland, there are 147 terrorists in the Kashmir division and about 15 terrorists in Jammu division, roughly about 25% less as compared to last year.
The density of OGWs remains high in the southern part of the Kashmir division, where ten out of fourteen apprehended OGWs belong; however, overall, there is a dip in numbers. This indicates that the terrorist network is getting dismantled.
Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including the one who masterminded the recent Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasts in Rajouri. These two heavily armed terrorists were overpowered and apprehended by the brave villagers of village Tuksan Dhok and were handed over to the Police in Reasi, Jammu, on 2 July, reports Daily Excelsior. The captured terrorists included the most wanted LeT commander Talib Hussain, a resident of Rajouri District. The other terrorist was identified as Faizal Ahmed Dar, son of Bashir Ahmed Dar of Pulwama. A huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from them. This incident could be a game changer, indicating that local people have faith in the government rather than fear terrorists.
The youths joining the terror ranks in Jammu and Kashmir have a very short shelf life, with more than 64 % being killed by security forces within a year, quoting unnamed officials Daily Excelsior reported on 3 July. Security Forces, aided by a robust on-ground intelligence network, have scaled up anti-terror operations this year. However, officials said frequent violence in south Kashmir remained a cause for concern.
Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh, on 22 July, said that Hybrid Militancy is a strategic move by Pakistan to get the crime committed and shield the criminal after that. However, so far, the neighbouring country has failed to provide cover to the militants involved in innocent killings, reports Daily Excelsior. “In this type of faceless militancy, hybrid militants kill people, including innocents and police officers, then go underground to give the impression that they have done nothing. But police have busted and exposed all such underground modules involved in innocent killings,” the DGP said. He said Hybrid Militancy is destined to fail as the security forces network is powerful and more robust to counter it.
The above statistics indicate that terrorists killed in July 2022 were about 90% less as compared to the corresponding month of the year 2021. The apprehension of terrorists was equally spread over North Kashmir, South Kashmir and Rajauri areas. The OGWs were more active in South Kashmir as compared to other regions. There has been a dip in terror acts. To stay relevant, attacks are directed against non-local people. Apprehension of two terrorists by the local people of Reasi could be a game changer. The local populace is regaining the faith of security forces and government officials and shunning the fear of terrorists. Also, there have been indirect indications from local terrorists that they are willing to surrender provided a conducive environment is created and no retribution against them by the tanzeems. Terrorists killed, apprehended and surrendered are of Category C, mostly belonging to LeT tanzeem.
However, the main areas of concern are Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Baramulla, etc. and Raujuri is the emerging area of terrorism. And the attack trends are isolated posts of CAPF and innocent civilians.
The current security situation in Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir is arguably better than it has been in years. There is a progressive improvement in the security situation. The level of violence and tension in the Union Territory Jammu & Kashmir is significantly lower compared to 2021. There was a perceptible decline in the number of incidents. The number of civilians, security forces personnel and terrorists, killed, as reflected in the statistics above, is a result of a synchronised intelligence network and support from the people and security forces.
In this change, civil administration, security forces and leaders in the society have all participated together to improve the security situation in J&K. Dividends of peace have started reaching the people. The intensity of counter-terrorism operations should continue to be high till all remaining terrorists are eliminated from the face of J&K.
Terrorism is dying; however, forces across the border are interested in keeping it alive and relevant. Pakistan is definitely changing its narrative, giving it a religious color to manipulate the young minds of J&K. They have tried to vitiate and radicalize the Kashmiryat soul of the Kashmir Valley for the last more than three decades to achieve its nefarious goals but failed miserably. We must adopt the policies and initiate actions to ensure that divisive politics is kept out of India, but especially from J&K. Any actions that intensify communal fault lines can only help our adversary across the border and terrorists to bring back tremors of the violence and instability toJ&K.