SRINAGAR|NEW DELHI: At least five new terrorist groups, each comprising 5-7 terrorists, have infiltrated the Kashmir Valley and another 250 are “waiting for their turn” at the PoK launchpads, according to the latest joint intelligence report.
Pakistani Army is providing cover to the infiltrators, with the number of ceasefire violations going up to 250 in August, the reports says. The areas where the violations have gone up are Gurez, Poonch, Keran and Machil. In June, 181 ceasefire violations were reported. In July, the number was 296, officials said.
During the June-July period this year, the number of terrorists at the launchpad was less as Pakistan was facing scrutiny by the Financial Action Task Force. However, over the past two weeks, about 300 militants have assembled at the PoK launchpads, agencies claimed. Two terror camps close to LoC are also active, officials said. “Pakistan-based groups will try to push these terrorists — mostly belong to JeM and LeT — before November,” said a home ministry official, adding that Indian Army has been asked to strengthen its anti-infiltration grid.
Moreover, terrorist groups have issued posters across Kashmir warning against opening shops, going to offices, driving vehicles or sending children to schools. Officials said terrorists have also warned locals verbally in areas such as Pulwama, Anantnag and Shopian.
According to an intelligence official, one of the Hizbul posters at Kulgam says: “No shop should be opened in any village. The timings to open shops are 6 am to 9 am and 6 pm to 9 pm. But markets will remain shut.”
The poster also says: “Some private vehicles are still plying and we know their numbers. This is the last warning. Stop using your vehicles, otherwise we will burn them.” “No schools should open in any village. No girls should be on the streets. Keep your mothers and daughters at home, their honour is under threat.”
A similar LeT poster issued on Thursday claimed: “We request government servants to not go to offices… We had instructed the leaders of the Sopore fruit market to close it, but they still opened it. This should not have happened. We warn the managing body — if any shop is open, you will be responsible… If you don’t stop your activities, be ready for consequences.”
Another Hizbul poster in Sopore asked shopkeepers to keep their shops closed. “Anyone going against this won’t be spared. Don’t force our hand.”