J&K Militants Go Hi-tech, Recruit Women20 April 2010
Sopore: Militants in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are recruiting more and more women to support their war against security forces, a secret police document accessed by DNA has shown.“Each village has a substantial number of women over ground workers (OWGs) who are being used to deliver money, weapons or information to terrorists,” the report says. Recruiting women has its advantages, according to the report: “Getting women convicted under preventive detention is a distant dream. For example, one woman was caught transferring terrorist money and grenades but was let off on bail after Sopore witnessed law and order problems.” Society, too, doesn’t look kindly on women being held for terrorist activities. Use of cutting-edge technology has added a dangerous dimension to the new militant strategy. These tech-savvy militants are using voice overlapped internet protocol (VOIP) and encrypted messages to make life difficult for the forces. “Terrorists have switched to different methods of communication, including VOIP calls, which are difficult to track,” the six-page document reveals. “All messages sent and received are matrix-based and take a lot of time to decipher. By the time they are decoded, their importance is lost.” In the past six months, more than 20 security men and 15 ultras were killed in Sopore in various militancy-related incidents. The high casualties among security forces is attributed to a new strategy developed by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Uni, who has been able to bring together several outfits and add teeth to the attacks. This year alone, Sopore has seen more than eight militant attacks on policemen and security installations. Most of them have been carried out by a module comprising LeT, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, all headed by Uni. Pakistani national Uni had replaced Furqan, LeT’s Kashmir chief, who returned to his home country a few years ago. Uni was earlier operating from Lolaab and Bandipora areas, but has now started opearing from Sopore.