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Militants re-grouping after earthquake in J&K: BSF

Militants re-grouping after earthquake in J&K: BSF

Author: PTI
Publication: Daily Excelsior
Date: October 28, 2005
URL: http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/05oct28/news.htm#7

Shaken by the earthquake and the reverses at the hands of security forces, militants in J&K are busy trying to regroup and mobilise overground workers for big strikes next summer.

"Militant groups like Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashker-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in particular are currently engaged in regrouping their cadre and concentrating on better networking by mobilising overground workers (OGWs)," BSF (intelligence) Deputy Inspector General K Srinivasan said.

He said the coming summer "will be tough and we have to redraw our strategy... We have to address the problem of OGWs as they can be more dangerous than armed militants".

The OGWs not only provided information to militants about the movement of security forces, but gave them shelter, made 'hawala' transactions for them and led people on the road of militancy, the DIG said.

Quoting wireless intercepts and ground sources, he said the Oct 8 quake had dealt a severe blow to militants with some 400 launching pads along the LoC, 12 training camps and dozens of buildings housing their cadres reduced to rubble.

"They have already lost the top heirarchy at the hands of security forces in counter-insurgency operations," he said but there was no indication their commanders perished in the quake.

"The commanders usually stay away from the lower ranks and would have survived," Srinivasan said.

Moreover, there was no let-up in infiltation. "It is down but has not stopped," he said. About 450 militants infiltrated this year, the same as last year but the "Pakistani component" had increased with 85 per cent intruders being foreigners.

The Intelligence Chief admitted to "some lapses on our part" in the killing of State Education Minister Ghulam Nabi Lone but dismissed the spurt in violence over the past few weeks as "frustration".

He said the "militant leadership in the Valley is in the hands of the fourth rank. They want to show their mettle and are making senseless attacks here and there without concrete planning".

Since the "much hyped" fidayeen attacks and car bomb blasts had failed with the casualty ratio of suicide strikes dropping to one security jawan and three militants, they were going in for "high-profile and hit-and-run targets again to get publicity and save their skins", Srinivasan said.

He said "money is another factor" with militant groups grappling each other to claim an action for monetary benefits. This was why grenade attacks were carried out by militants even during the ongoing Ramzan fasts.

On the role of the BSF, he said the force was still actively involved in the anti-militancy drive in the Valley and although his troops handed over the charge of Srinagar to CRPF sometime back, "area domination, intelligence gathering, thorough frisking and reacting quickly" were key to the success of the operations.

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