Decline In Encounters: Militants Lying Low, Restricting Movement, Says Top Official

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‘RoPs of Army, CRPF doing extra bit to counter IED threat, Night patrolling on in vulnerable areas’

Nasir Azam

Srinagar:  Security grid in Kashmir have observed that militants have restricted their movement and are “lying low” with the result their activities are not being traced they the way they were earlier. As per top security officials less movement by militants was the major reason as to why the number of encounters have gone down.

According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), a top security expert, revealed that post August 5, when Centre scrapped the Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories (UTs).

“There were less encounters post August 5 and the main reason is that militants are lying low and they have restricted their movement also. The militant movement we used to track before August 5 is not the same,” the security expert told KNO, wishing not to be named. He, however, said that communication gag has not affected the anti-militancy operations in Kashmir.

“Our mechanism to track militant movement continues to remain same. May be due to the communication and internet gag, we are not able to track movements of militants as they are not connected to internet and have no mobile connectivity,” the official said. He said that the human and technical intelligence of security grid is intact and remains undeterred despite internet gag in the Valley.

“Our inputs from the ground suggest that militants are not moving from one point to another, the way they used to prior to August 5,” the official revealed. “It seems that their strategy is to remain silent for some time.”

Since August 5 only nine encounters have taken place in Kashmir resulting in the killing of 12 militants. This year so far, 157 militants have been killed, as per the Minister of Home Affairs data.

Asked about the mechanism adopted to counter IED threat, the official said that night-patrolling and area domination has been stepped up. “Road opening Parties (RoPs) of CRPF and army are doing extra work to ensure any explosive material planted is detected before militants would trigger it off.

Patrolling is done in vulnerable areas on regular basis. So far we have succeeded in identifying the explosives beforehand and to diffuse the same as well,” the official said. (KNO)

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