JAMMU, JAN 7: Denouncing the killing of four police personnel due to an IED blast in Sopore market, Bharatiya Janata Party feels that the recent terrorist activities in Kashmir point towards a change in strategy of the terrorist organizations which needs a detailed analysis and a de-novo response from our intelligence agencies and security forces. In a press release issued by the Party, it paid homage to the gallant policemen and expressed solidarity with their families.”There is an obvious design behind the changed strategy which does not augur well if not countered immediately and aggressively. The choice of targets, use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and growing involvement of local youth are a cause of concern,” stated Brig Anil Gupta, State Spokesperson of the Party as per the release.
The last major IED attack against the Army in the Valley was in 2008 in Narbal, thereafter repeated attempts were made but without much success and had witnessed no blast since 2015. However, there have been indicators in the recent past which should have alerted the police and intelligence agencies. The body of a Jaish Pakistani terrorist was found lying outside the Eidgah area in Tral in mid-December last year. A letter was also attached with the body which read that the deceased was a non-local Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorist namely Umer Bhai of Pakistan. “He was killed when an IED went off accidentally in some forest area. Kindly bury him at the earliest,” read the letter. This should have raised the hackles of the police and alerted the troops to take adequate precautions, said Brig Gupta. The terrorists are targeting the police and security forces personnel during winter months, generally considered as a dormant period, to attack their morale.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) despite having suffered major losses in the Valley is resurfacing as a major Tanzeem with increased recruitment of local youth. The New Year eve suicide attack on a CRPF Camp at Lethpora in Pulwama wherein a local youth also participated is also a worrying development since the last such known participation of a local youth in a suicide attack was recorded in 2001, according to the press statement. The increased use of social media to lure local youth is evident from the fact that the local terrorist involved in the suicide attack had recorded a video and released it on social media before launching the attack, “the aim is to increase the sagging morale of the remaining terrorists and attract the local youth,” stated Brig Gupta adding that “a lot needs to be done to win back the disgruntled youth and getting them back into the mainstream.”
Highlighting other changes in strategy, Brig Gupta pointed out the use of steel piercing bullets during the suicide attack on CRPF camp and cautioned the security forces to analyse its effect on the VIP security, police bunker vehicles as well as static bunkers used for personnel protection. Brig Gupta said that it has also been learnt from media reports that Pakistan’s ISI has equipped the terrorist groups with Super High Altitude Clothing like the one used in Siachen. This is a very dangerous trend and a detailed analysis of likely infiltration routes through rugged high altitude terrain when the passes are closed need to be done and preventive measures taken. Also, any attempt to repeat Kargil like intrusions need to be analysed warned Brig Gupta. Aerial surveillance of the area should not be compromised at any cost advised the spokesperson.