New Delhi: Terror infrastructure and launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) are active as Pakistan has upped efforts to push in terrorists into India, even as the world is focused on fighting the Covid-19 threat together.
A clear spike in cross-border firings— typically used to distract troops and cover infiltration attempts— has been observed last month, with the first six days of April seeing this continuing trend of violence. This, even as intelligence estimates show that local recruitment has fallen sharply this year, with only six Kashmiri youth being roped in by terrorist groups.
Sources said that terror factories in Pakistan are continuing training modules and launch pads along the border from where the final push is made to cross over are also active. The recent encounter in the Keran sector—in which five special forces soldiers died while taking down a group of infiltrating terrorists—also shows a clear Pakistan hand, with recoveries of food packets and other supplies that had evident markings.
“This operation clearly shows the complicity of Pakistan in aiding an abetting terrorism in the valley. This act is particularly reprehensible as the whole world is fighting Covid-19 and its aftermath and here is Pakistan, aiding and abetting infiltration,” Srinagar-based 15 Corps commander Lt Gen BS Raju has said. The spike in violence is also evident from the increased encounters that have taken place this year.
Security forces have already taken down 41 terrorists in Kashmir this year, against 152 that were killed last year. This is expected to go up as terrorists have been trying to push in from the LoC at areas where the border fence is still buried under several feet of snow.
“The Covid-19 impact is being underreported in Pakistan but it can be seen that the army there has already been deployed. But we have not seen any indication that terror activities are being slowed down,” an official told ET.
In terms of ceasefire violations, 1,197 incidents of cross-border firings by Pakistani troops have already been reported this year, with March alone seeing as many as 411 violations.
Officials pointed out that this is a big spike from last year when the month of March saw 267 violations. The desperation to push in Pakistani terrorists is perhaps linked to the decline in local recruitment by terror groups, possibly due to the clamp down in the valley that has restricted movements.
Intelligence estimates show that six locals have been recruited till now this year, against 119 who had taken up arms last year. The six this year include two each from Anantnag and Shopian and one each from Kulgam and Pulwama.