Lashkar-e-Taiba Keen To Revive Militancy In J&K, Security Agencies Say

5 December 2014
Times of India


New Delhi: The single largest casualty suffered by security forces in many years in Jammu and Kashmir may not just be linked to the ongoing state assembly elections but reflect a larger effort at reviving militancy, some security officers believe. What has got officials worried is the attack on an artillery gun position in relatively peaceful Uri, which resulted in the death of 11 security personnel in a single day. In the past seven-eight years, J&K has not witnessed so many security personnel being killed in a single attack. Many also believe that it was a fidayeen attack, though not at the scale in which suicide attacks used to happen in J&K a decade or so ago. The Uri attack, in which terrorists entered the military premises around 3.30am, is also in line with the concerns of local military officers that over the last few months, they have been noticing significant militant activity. While most of it is linked to elections, they also suspect that there is desperate effort to revive militancy in J&K. Sources said they have been noticing more locals taking to militancy in recent times. Again, much of it may be linked to elections but there are other reasons prompting these people to join militancy. December, which is relatively peaceful, has been seeing more action this time. Elections, again, could be a reason but security agencies are also noticing continuing infiltration by terrorists from the Pakistani side. By now, about 60 terrorists are believed to have infiltrated into J&K from Pakistan this year. Thanks to all these factors, many officers are expecting more attacks not just in J&K but also in the Indian hinterland. 'There are a lot of indications that the other side is getting very aggressive,' an officer in Kashmir valley said about the increasing infiltration efforts and cross-border firing. He said Lashkar-e-Taiba was making a desperate effort to revive its operations in Kashmir, and the Pakistan army was actively assisting the infiltration. There are several other factors too why security agencies would be going on a higher state of alert. The US agencies are believed to have warned about the possibility of a spectacular terrorist attack in India, though they have not specified any location. The impending visit of US President Barack Obama for Republic Day would also trigger more terrorist activity. Friday's attacks also came on the eve of the anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition.