Security reassessed in Kashmir following ultra attacks

Last Updated: Sunday, August 5, 2012 - 17:54

Srinagar: The security and intelligence grid in Kashmir is reassessing the general security situation in the Valley following a sudden spurt in militant attacks that included four grenade attacks in a span of 24 hours.

Highly placed sources said the increase in militant activities this year after a relatively peaceful 2011 has become a cause of concern among the security agencies.

The panches and sarpanches, who were elected in the panchayat polls held in the state last year after a gap of 30 years have become soft targets for the ultras, the sources said.

"The attacks on sarpanches and panches seems to be a ploy of the militants to affect the democratic and development process in the Valley. They want to scare people away from these institutions," a senior police official said.

In the six attacks on the grass root level representatives this year, only one sarpanch was shot dead, while others sustained bullet injuries in their limbs.

The worrying factor for the security agencies has been the increase in number of infiltration bids by insurgents trying to cross into the Valley from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

A senior army commander during a recent function at Drass in Kargil district admitted that some of the infiltration bids by militants this year might have been successful.

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen KT Parnaik said while most of the infiltration bids have been foiled by the Army troops, an estimated 35 to 38 ultras have been successful in sneaking in till June 15 this year.

These figures correspond to the increase in militant activities in the Valley.
On Thursday and Friday last, militants hurled four grenades at security installations in Sopore, Kupwara and Srinagar within 24 hours.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir SM Sahai, however, does not see spurt in grenade attacks as a resurgence of militancy in the Valley.

"The militants are outsourcing these grenade attacks to teenage boys who are not on our radar. It takes some time but we do get to them," Sahai said, adding, a seven-member module of Lashkar-e-Toiba was busted in Sopore town of Baramulla district recently.

Meanwhile, Director General of Police Ashok Prasad chaired a high-level meeting of police officers and reviewed the security arrangements for the forthcoming Independence Day celebrations in the state.

Directing the officers on the ground to maintain vigil, Prasad said, "dormant (militant) elements could try to foment trouble and disrupt the peace. So, their activities should be kept under surveillance."

Instructing the officers to maintain synergy among various agencies, the DGP asked them to keep available the required man power for the I-Day celebrations without affecting their law and order duties, a police spokesman said after the meeting.


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First Published: Sunday, August 5, 2012 - 17:54

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