After three-month thaw, an uptick in militancy in Kashmir; June, July see 16 encounters

After a semblance of tranquility alongside India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir, militancy-related violence has witnessed a spike within the Valley during the last six weeks, together with a rise within the participation of international terrorists in assaults on safety forces.

In 2021, 86 militants have been killed throughout J&Ok. In June and July alone, 36 militants or 45 per cent have been killed in 16 encounters. July has been notably energetic, witnessing 10 encounters in 20 days, wherein 20 militants have been killed, of which 4 are suspected to be from Pakistan.

In all this yr, the safety forces have been engaged in 36 operations, and of the 86 killed, 80 have been killed in Kashmir and 6 in Jammu. Also half the militants killed have been from LeT.

In these operations, 15 safety personnel and 19 civilians misplaced their lives this yr in militancy-related incidents.

Notably, the info obtained from authorities sources reveals international terrorists (from Pakistan) weren’t concerned in any encounter with safety forces till April. Between April and June, 4 international terrorists have been killed in encounters with terrorists. In July, one other 4 FTs have been killed, taking their rely to eight.


Spike not anticipated

The altering dynamics of militancy in Kashmir coincides with shifting sands within the area’s geopolitics, notably Pakistan’s personal significance and developments in Afghanistan. It is assumed that uncertainties in Afghanistan early this yr and stress from FATF had compelled Pakistan to return to the negotiating desk. Those pressures have eased now.

India and Pakistan had determined to honour the ceasefire after the DGMOs of the 2 international locations met and issued a joint assertion on February 25. This was seen as a big thaw within the relations between the 2 international locations and was anticipated to translate right into a drop in infiltration and terrorist actions in Kashmir.

The peace throughout the Valley may, nonetheless, maintain for simply a few months. Sources mentioned 4 infiltration makes an attempt have been made within the final week; whereas one was foiled, three succeeded and as many as 20 terrorists are learnt to have entered Kashmir.

In phrases of recruitment, until July 15 this yr, 69 people joined the militant ranks in contrast with 85 within the corresponding interval final yr. Much of the recruitment has been from the three South Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Shopian, and Pulwama. Overall, in 2020, 174 people turned militants in contrast with 143 in 2019.

When contacted, Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, Dilbag Singh mentioned technological interventions have helped curb recruitment within the Valley in addition to intensification on counter-terrorism operations regardless of Covid-19 pandemic. “We intercepted several people before they could join any terror outfits… In many cases, parents have come to seek help in finding boys that have gone missing. So public trust has increased,” he mentioned.

The J&Ok Police knowledge additionally reveals that militancy-related incidents – direct or grenade assaults – are down from 120 within the first six months of 2020 to 84 this yr. Further, whereas J&Ok had recorded 937 incidents of ceasefire violation in 2020, this yr solely 95 incidents have been recorded, almost all from earlier than the February 25 settlement.

According to intelligence stories, there are over 200 terrorists energetic within the Valley with 40 per cent of them having infiltrated from Pakistan. “We are expecting an increase in direct involvement of FTs in attacks in the near future,” the officer mentioned.

A senior safety institution officer mentioned a lot of this needed to do with Pakistan’s altering significance within the area’s geopolitics. “Earlier, Pakistan’s hands were forced in part due to the pressure from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which has continued to keep it in the Grey List. However, with developments in Afghanistan where Taliban is set to take control of the country, Pakistan is being seen as a necessary ally to have for both the Western and regional powers. The FATF pressure too has reduced considerably,” the officer mentioned.

In 2020, a complete of 225 militants have been killed by safety forces working in J&Ok. In the course of 103 operations – 90 in Kashmir and 13 in Jammu – 207 militants have been killed within the Valley whereas 18 within the Jammu area. However, the variety of J&Ok police officers killed this yr is up. Compared with 15 in 2020, ten policemen have been killed this yr together with a sub-inspector, a constable and SPOs.