Indian plans of deadly counter terror operation in Jammu and Kashmir

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Indian plans of deadly counter terror operation in Jammu and Kashmir

NEW DEHLI: Indian government is expected to launch a major operational offensive against terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir due to increasing incidents of security forces being targeted in the Kashmir Valley. The Union home ministry is looking at the option of giving more firepower to the security forces and even replacing the CRPF with the BSF in some Valley areas.

The prevailing security situation in the Valley was discussed in detail on Tuesday at a meeting of the internal security top brass, including Union home minister Rajnath Singh, national security adviser Ajit Doval, Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, RAW chief Rajinder Khanna and Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma.

The intelligence agencies informed the meeting that there was a “tactical shift”’ in the modus operandi of terror outfits in Kashmir as they were not focusing on camps or installations of security forces but instead targeting their convoys or security personnel on patrol. Sources said one of the key issues discussed at the meeting was the possibility of replacing the CRPF with the BSF in some of the worst affected parts of the Valley.

The crucial security meeting comes in wake of eight CRPF personnel being killed by Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militants in Pampore on Saturday. In the last few weeks this is the fourth attack on security personnel.

“If the present trend of security personnel being targeted continues, we will not hesitate to deploy BSF again in Srinagar and its outskirts to control these incidents. BSF is a more lethal force specialising in counter-terror operations as compared to CRPF, which mainly focuses on crowd control. BSF is primarily a border guarding force while for internal security duties the CRPF is used, but this trend of security personnel being targeted needs to be controlled at any cost and we are monitoring the situation closely,” a senior government official said. The BSF is also better equipped in terms of weapons as their personnel mostly use AK series weapons equipped with grenade launchers rather than INSAS rifles.

Sources said the meeting also decided to launch a major offensive to track down the main commander of LeT in the Valley, Abu Dujana, who is suspected to have masterminded some of the recent attacks.

It is believed that Abu Dujana heads a module of nearly 10 militants. Intelligence inputs also suggest that he could carry out attacks in the next few days and the security forces have been asked to remain on high alert. Sources said a massive operation has already been launched in south Kashmir, where Abu Dujana is suspected to be hiding.

 

After the meeting, all security forces operating in Kashmir were instructed to strictly follow standard operating procedures (SOPs), specially when their convoys are on the move.

All convoys will henceforth be provided cover by armoured vehicles while the road opening party (ROP) will also sanitise areas adjoining the route of the convoys. It is suspected that the two Pakistani militants involved in the Pampore incident had been hiding inside a house close to the road. The home ministry has already formed a three-member team comprising senior officials to look into possible lapses in the Pampore incident. The meeting also reviewed security arrangements for the Amarnath Yatra which is scheduled to start soon.