Kashmir Calling
Increased efforts are being made to focus on development of the state
By Fayaz Bukhari

Indian Army’s tight vigil along the 740 kilometre long Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir has been making it tough for militants to infiltrate into India. In addition, successful counter-insurgency operations over the years by the army, police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has succeeded in eliminating the top leadership of the militants, leading to deep crisis in their ranks. They are now left with only few commanders like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) divisional commander for North Kashmir, Fahadullah; its south Kashmir divisional commander, Qasim, and chief of Jaish-e-Mohamad (JeM), Qari Yasir.

Alternate Route
So, the militants have now found a different way to address this leadership crisis and infiltrate into India. Major General Bipin Rawat, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Baramulla based 19-division of army, told FORCE that militant organisations are now trying to send their leaders through Nepal into Jammu and Kashmir. Despite the army's tight vigil, GOC Srinagar based 15 Corps, Lt. General Om Prakash said, around 40 militants managed to infiltrate this year into Kashmir. However, other security agencies have put the figure at around 150. GOC Rawat maintained that no militant leader has managed to enter into Kashmir valley this year. “This year, militants even activated the Uri route for infiltration but failed due to tight vigil along the LoC,” he added.

Ten militants were killed in Uri sector this year by the army near the LoC while others fled back to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). Last year in July, security forces killed five top militant commanders, belonging to LeT and JeM, in an operation in Kupwara's Lolab Valley. This was considered a single major success of security forces against militants in the Kashmir valley in which top leadership of the militants was wiped out. The top five commanders were: LeT divisional commander, North Kashmir Saqib alias Sohail of Kasur, Pakistan; LeT divisional commander for Kupwara, Hamad alias Haneef alias Alfa Islam of Abbottabad, Pakistan; LeT divisional commander Central Kashmir, Qari Saifullah of Pakistan; battalion commander LeT Chota Saad and battalion commander, JeM Umair alias Hafiz.

Indian Army patrol on a counter infiltration mission
Indian Army patrol on a counter infiltration mission
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