Militant launch pads again become active across LoC

Militant launch pads again become active across Line of Control

250-300 ultras ready to infiltrate India, says Jammu and Kashmir police chief

Indian Army soldiers patrol near Line of Control (LOC) at Bhimber Gali sector in Rajouri district. Credit: PTI Photo/Ministry of Defence

Amid specific inputs that 250 to 300 militants were waiting along the launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) as well as International Border (IB), Army and BSF have further stepped up patrolling to foil any such attempts.

Sources said in the last one month, four to five groups of militants infiltrated into Rajouri-Poonch sector of Jammu region while another group managed to cross the LoC from Gurez sector of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Pakistan has also activated more than two dozen new launch pads along the LoC and a good number of them are opposite Rajouri-Poonch belt, they said. After infiltrating through Rajouri and Poonch, the militants find it easier to reach the Shopian district of south Kashmir via Mughal Road.

After India and Pakistan agreed in February this year to restore peace on the LoC, the infiltration had almost dried up.

Read | Pak made 33 infiltration attempts this year, China none

“However, as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in May said that his country would not hold talks with India until New Delhi reverses its decision of scrapping the special status of J&K, the neighboring country has once again decided to import terror,” sources said and added in coming months with melting of snow, infiltration attempts may increase.

They said Pakistani spy agency ISI has identified eight new routes along the LoC through which they plan to infiltrate militant groups into J&K. “Some terrorists may have infiltrated already from these routes. But now Indian security agencies have stepped up the vigil and in coming weeks more encounters are expected along the LoC,” they revealed.

J&K police chief Dilbagh Singh agrees that the training camps and launch pads being run by Pakistani army are full to their capacity. “We generally assume the number of terrorists at such camps remains between 250 and 300 who are trained and ready for launching into Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

However, he said the security forces are fully alert to the threat and the border grid is working satisfactorily which led to the foiling of four infiltration attempts since July.

A senior army officer told DH that the commanders of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad outfits were under pressure from their mentors across the border to force infiltration of militants into J&K to carry out attacks on vital installations to make their presence felt.

“As security forces have succeeded in eliminating most of the terrorist commanders in the last two years, the ISI wants to push as many ultras as possible before the winter sets in to compensate for ever depleting strength of the militants,” he said.