Militants likely to strike during LS polls in J&K

Militants likely to strike during LS polls in J&K

Security agencies have been asked to make foolproof arrangements

Militants likely to strike during LS polls in J&K

With the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll schedule, security agencies in Jammu and Kashmir have been asked to make foolproof arrangements for the elections.

Sources told Deccan Herald that intelligence agencies have inputs that the upcoming polls are on the radar of militants’ and their handlers across the border.

“They will attempt to disrupt the polls as elections are always attractive targets for them. Militant groups Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) have directed their commanders to plan strikes during various poll phases,” they said.

In 2013, the Pakistan Army violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) more than 200 times, the highest number in the last decade. “The Pakistan Army and its spy agency ISI wants to push as many militants into the state as possible before the polls to disrupt the process. They have been directed to attack soft targets to avoid security radars,” they added.

Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Ashok Prasad said the poll boycott call given by hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani could encourage militants to disrupt the polls.

“Geelani’s poll boycott campaign has given militants another reason to carry out attacks during the elections. Militants always pose threats whenever there are elections in Kashmir. They did the same during the Panchayat polls (in 2011) and will certainly try to do the same now,” Prasad said.

He said, however, that police will use all its resources to ensure peaceful polls. “Police in the past had discharged its duties during the most turbulent times and this time, too, it will take every possible step to thwart any militant activity during the polls,” the DGP added.

Stating that threats will be less as compared to earlier elections, Prasad said the peaceful conduct of polls will be priority of the state. 

Last month, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, while addressing the joint session of the state legislature, had accepted that militants are likely to disrupt the two elections due this year.