The recent encounters and gunbattles in Kupwara, Gurez and Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir have left the Indian Army concerned about a possible upsurge in violence.
Army sources have indicted that the number of militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir to be around 800. One officer told StratPost, “The concern is that we have reports that a similar number are trained and waiting to cross the Line of Control (LoC).”
Army sources think the upsurge is the result of a number of factors coming together. “The receding winter, melting snows, opening of passes, the upcoming general elections and the increase in the influence of the Taliban in Pakistan are why this is happening, said the officer, who added, “Pakistan may also take this as an opportunity to divert attention from itself.” Ironically, the 12-15 feet of snow covering the LoC has made it easy for militants to cross the fence as they can simply walk over it.
Acts of violence and infiltration in the state have fallen over the past few years, with infiltration attempts by militants estimated to be around 40 in 2007 and 35 last year. The infiltration attempted in Kupwara two weeks back was the first this year.
“This fall has been a result of relentless effort on our part. But we expect infiltration to grow in the coming weeks,” he said, adding, “In the light of the present political situation, there is a likelihood of more encounters, more infiltration in the near future. Our security forces are on high alert on the LoC and the International Border.”