Sleeper Terror Cells Activated In J&K After Pak Turmoil
12 November 2007
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: With Pakistan plunging into turmoil, 'sleeper' terrorist cells in Jammu and Kashmir have been suddenly activated resulting in upsurge in violence in the State, Army said today. A high alert has also been sounded along the Line of Control by the Army as it apprehends stepped up infiltration attempts and attacks by militants. The terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed an upsurge lately, after remaining low for the last six months, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen M L Naidu told reporters here. He attributed the spurt in terrorist attacks in the State to 'sudden activation of sleeper terrorists cells' on the directions from across the borders. Noting that security forces were constantly monitoring the developments in the neighbouring country, Gen Naidu said 'in view of turmoil across the border, there are fears that there could be spurt in infiltration attempts.' He said Army apprehended stepped up in attacks by foreign mercenaries in Jammu and Kashmir and security forces had been put on 'high alert' all along the 742 kms long Line of Control to check any infiltration attempts. 'We have put all Army units on high alert along the LoC as well as sounded 'standto' (alert) to units engaged in counter insurgency,' he said. In addition, he said the BSF units posted along the international border with Pakistan across Jammu sector were also on high alert. For the past three days, Naidu said Army units had neutralised three major attacks by suicide squads of the Lashkar-e-Toiba in various parts of the Valley and troops are on alert for more such attempts apprehended. Troops had taken more time to destroy these squads, he told reporters, only because of strict instructions to avoid any collateral damage as these attacks had come in heavily populated areas. 'The sudden upsurge in violence is a cause of concern. But we are keeping abreast of the situation and have kept forces in readiness to deal with any exigency', he said. Vice Chief who was speaking to newsmen after giving a pre-view of defence pavilion at the forthcoming India international trade fair said with the formation of special working group, Sino-Indian border talks were expected to go on high drive. He said the two sides were working to reach some positive outcome before the next year's summit meeting of the leaders of the two nations. Downplaying reports of incursions by Chinese troops into Indian territory, the Vice Chief said these were gaining prominence as the two countries still had differing perception of the boundary line across their Himalayan borders. The theme of this year's defence pavilion will be on armed forces multifarious activities that has brought the entire North-East region into the national mainstream. Touching upon it, Naidu referred to recent mass surrenders by ULFA cadres in Assam and said this indicated that the rank and file of the terrorist outfits were disillusioned.