Even after losing more than 200 terrorists in fierce gunfights and ambush along the Line of Control (LoC) since January 1, 2018, several Kashmir-based terrorist outfits, namely Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Jaish-e- Mohammad, are desperately trying to spread an ‘arc of terror’ across Jawahar tunnel in Jammu region.
Killing of a top BJP leader in Kishtwar, frequent recoveries of huge cache of arms and ammunition from relatively peaceful districts of Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Poonch, growing radicalisation of educated youth in the region and use of Mughal road for transporting weapons clearly suggested these terrorist outfits have once again managed to carve a niche for themselves with the help of closed network of over ground workers (OGW’s) across Jammu region.
According to official sources, the senior State police officers and intelligence agencies are closely monitoring the investigations in majority of these cases to study a pattern of fresh recruitment,if any.
So far it is revealed that the terrorist cadre are using Mughal road axis for smuggling arms and ammunition in to Kashmir valley from the frontier districts of Rajouri and Poonch.
At the same time all out efforts are on to revive militancy in Doda and Kishtwar districts too. Well educated youth from the region have joined ranks of terrorist outfits in recent months. Though their number is less but several youth from the region are in direct touch with the terrorist handlers through use of social media.
Recent killing of a top BJP leader in Kishtwar with active support of OGWs has already sent the alarm bells ringing in the security establishment. The local police authorities with help of National Investigation Agency is probing the killing of a top BJP leader and his elder brother.
Two days ago police had also arrested two terrorists, who were part of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) module from Mendhar area of Poonch. The duo had had come to the town to ferry weapons to the Kashmir Valley.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Poonch, Rajiv Pandey said a special investigation team (SIT) headed by a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) was formed to probe the case.
Auqib Ahmad Bhat and Shabir Ahmad Dar, both hailing from Pulwama district of south Kashmir, were arrested during a joint operation by police and the Army in Mendhar area of the border district on Wednesday.
Two AK-56 rifles, two magazines, 60 rounds and four hand grenades were seized from their possession.
“Prima facie, it was established that they were part of LeT module and were assigned the task to shift weapons from Poonch to the Kashmir Valley,” the SSP told reporters. A joint team of army and State police had also launched search and cordon operations in Rajouri on Thursday following reports about the presence of group of militants in the area.
In Kishtwar, local police had identified two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists — Osama Javed of Dachhan in Kishtwar district and Sajjad Khandey of Pulwama — as the men who shot BJP State secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar in Kishtwar on November 1.
Two others, including a Government employee, have been detained for providing logistics support to the terrorists. An OGW of Hizbul Mujahideen too had played a key role in identifying the targets.
Apart from this, there has been no let up from the Pakistani side to push small groups of heavily armed infiltrators inside the Indian territory via International border.
At present, security forces are kept in a state of high alert after four suspected terrorists hijacked a passenger Taxi, hired from Jammu railway station, near Madhopur in Punjab late Tuesday night.