Sunday, June 23, 2024

Is infiltration in J-K on rise after AFSPA move?


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Jammu/Srinagar: Intelligence inputs received by various Army formations in Jammu and Kashmir appear to suggest that infiltration is on the rise after the state government’s move for a partial withdrawal of AFSPA.

Army officers have suggested during routine meetings that infiltration is taking place from almost every side of the Line of Control(LoC) following the ASPA move, which has been backed by the Union Home Ministry, according to officials of the state and Centre who attended these meetings. Sources privy to meetings including of State Multi Agency Centre (SMAC) — a fora where representatives of all intelligence agencies meet to assess the situation, Core group, Unified Headquarters said the Army representatives are providing inputs suggesting that infiltration had taken place from throughout the LoC.

Army earlier never accepted any successful infiltration bid, the sources said, adding there appear to be change in its stand by indicating that a large number of infiltrators have of late sneaked into the state.

The sources said that physical checks were even carried out to verify number of terrorists that could have infiltrated but they did not match the evidence provided by Army officials.

A senior state government official said infiltration from across the LoC was an on going phenomenon even during summer of 2011 but Army officials appeared to be reluctant to accept this situation and were maintaining “zero infiltration” all along till August.

The state government’s move for partial lifting of AFSPA is being opposed by the Army which has made its views known at the meetings, the officials attending the meetings said.

In May, following evidence produced by state police and central agencies giving proof about the entry of terrorists from various areas of North Kashmir the Army reportedly acknowledged that 40 militants have crossed into the state.

Army, however, in June this year came out with an official release saying that reports about infiltration were wrong.

It has also suggested that terrorists may try and infiltrate into the state during the winter.

On October 12, Corps Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen S A Hasnain had said at a public function that stern vigil maintained along the LoC had deterred infiltration bids by militants from across the border into the Kashmir Valley.

He had also said that Army was well prepared to neutralise any such attempts in future. However, two months later, Lt Gen Hasnain, who is on his way for posting at Army headquarters, told reporters in Uri on December 12 that there could be a sudden spurt in infiltration from across the border during forthcoming winter. (PTI)


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