Jump in infiltration attempts since Kashmir unrest

Infiltration attempts by armed men had been falling steadily for several years before rising sharply this year. As the security setup is focused on the ongoing unrest in Kashmir, a number of militants have crossed over.

Written by Bashaarat Masood , Sofi Ahsan | Srinagar | Updated: September 19, 2016 4:57 am
uri, uri attack, infiltration, J&K infiltration, loc, loc infiltration, uri infiltration, mehbooba mufti, kashmir, kashmir attack, loc attack, pakistan attack, Uri militant attack, uri terrorist attack, pakistan attack, uri pakistan attack, india news An Army soldier near Army Brigade camp during a terror attack in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. PTI Photo

On August 15, the Army killed five suspected terrorists trying to infiltrate the Line of Control in Uri and said they had been planning a terror strike. Infiltration attempts by armed men had been falling steadily for several years before rising sharply this year. As the security setup is focused on the ongoing unrest in Kashmir, a number of militants have crossed over.

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According to the figures tabled by MoS (Home) Hansraj Ahir in the Rajya Sabha, there were 90 such attempts in the first six months of 2016, of which 54 were successful. And since July 15, the Army has foiled at least such 14 attempts. In comparison, there were 121 infiltration attempts in 2015, 31 of them successful.

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A top police officer said the 14 attempts recently foiled does not present the complete picture. “These are just the numbers of infiltration attempts that were foiled. We don’t have figures on successful attempts since July. The protests have caused a breakdown of our information network,” he said.

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Another senior police officer dealing with counterinsurgency operations said the Multi-Agency Centre of the Army, police, paramilitary and intelligence agencies has not met since protests began in Kashmir.

On Saturday, BSF inspector general Vikash Chandra told reporters in Srinagar that “as many as 25 to 30 militants have managed to sneak into the valley in the past over two months”. But a police officer said, “Our inputs from the ground indicate a far higher number. It can be corroborated only after the protests stop.”

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In fact, in the past two months the Army made only two attempts to cordon off villages after inputs about the presence of the militants, but had to wind up the operations after people took to the streets.

In Noorpora village of Tral in south Kashmir, the Army had to lift the cordon after protests began and the militants escaped. People also took to the streets at Fatehgarh in Baramulla, forcing the police and Army to retreat.

Major terror attacks in J&K

May 14, 2002

31 killed and 48 injured when three militants hijack a tourist bus and storm the Army cantonment at Kaluchak in Jammu

July 22, 2003

8 Army personnel including a Brigadier killed as fidayeen storm Akhnoor camp in Jammu

July 19, 2008

10 soldiers killed and 20 injured in attack on convoy at Narbal on Srinagar-Baramulla highway

June 24, 2013

10 soldiers killed and 12 injured when two terrorists attack convoy in Srinagar

September 25, 2013

9 security personnel, including four policemen and three army jawans, killed in twin terrorist attacks in Jammu’s Samba and Kathua

December 5, 2014

8 soldiers and 3 policemen killed when six militants storm Army brigade headquarters at Uri

June 26, 2016

8 CRPF men killed and 22 others injured when terrorists attack a CRPF convoy at Pampore on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. Two terrorists killed in the attack