October 24, 2021

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

Targeted attacks in J&K seen as part of new ISI-backed strategy; Amit Shah chairs high-level meet

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Targeted attacks in J&K seen as part of new ISI-backed strategy; Amit Shah chairs high-level meet
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Targeted attacks in J&K seen as part of new ISI-backed strategy; Amit Shah chairs high-level meet
Targeted attacks in J&K seen as part of new ISI-backed strategy; Amit Shah chairs high-level meet

NEW DELHI: The targeted attacks in J&K in which five civilians, including four from minority religious communities, were killed over the past three days, are being seen by the security agencies as part of a revised strategy by ISI-backed terrorist groups to push local terror recruits to go after non-local, easy targets. The aim, sources said, is to change the narrative of ‘zero-tolerance’ against terrorists or their sympathisers, big development push, revival of tourism and ‘full integration of J&K with rest of India’ that has gained ground since the abrogation of Article 370, by creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity, particularly for the non-locals.
This assessment was shared at a meeting chaired by home minister Amit Shah here on Thursday to review the security situation in J&K in wake of the civilian killings. The meeting was attended by NSA Ajit Doval and heads of CRPF, BSF and intelligence agencies. A fine-tuning of strategies, including the need to keep a closer watch on youths susceptible to radicalization and in touch with terrorists and gather better intelligence on transfer and supplies of arms, is believed to have been discussed.
As many as 28 civilians have been killed so far this year, of which five were from local Hindu or Sikh community and 2 were non-local labourers.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar told TOI that terrorists had used pistols in all the recent civilian killings. “These acts are committed by newly recruited terrorists or those about to join terrorist ranks. In some cases, overground workers were directly involved. J&K Police are working hard to identify such part-time or ‘hybrid’ terrorists and will take strictest action against them,” he said.
According to sources, Pakistan-based terror sponsors have been pushing groups like Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed to step up infiltration into J&K since July. Intelligence inputs however indicate that mostly local youths are being drafted to carry out attacks on ‘soft’ targets, which may occasionally include locals suspected to be ‘informers’. While it is claimed that some of these local recruits are affiliated with The Resistance Front (TRF), J&K police sources insist that with the top leadership of the outfit neutralized over the past few months, TRF is only a smokescreen created by LeT to maintain deniability and project terrorist attacks in J&K as an indigenous job. It is also associated with Pakistan’s efforts to avert a ‘blacklisting’ by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
While the first three attacks this week, involving a Kashmir Pandit chemist, Bihari street vendor and local taxi stand owner, were linked to TRF, Thursday’s killings of a principal and a school teacher have been attributed to Jaish-e-Mohammed. A source said there was an intelligence input prior to Thursday’s attack that three Pakistani Jaish terrorists were in Srinagar downtown area. They however left Srinagar before the attack, leading the agencies to suspect that they had come to only hand over weapons – pistols in this case – to the locals drafted for the job.
“We believe many recent attacks on civilians were carried out by local Kashmiris, most of them not yet marked as having joined the terror ranks, with weapons supplied from Pakistan either through drones or brought in by the infiltrated terrorists,” said a source.
A pro-Pakistan website that posts on terror strategies in Kashmir, had in a blog dated September 24, 2021, alleged “attempts by occupier India to change the dynamics in J&K, especially Kashmir” by promoting non-locals in controlling positions within the administration, police, businesses and educational institutions and limiting locals in government jobs by tightening their service conditions. A reference was also made to attempts by the J&K government to resettle Kashmiri Pandits.
The blog, as a strategy, called upon the ‘Resistance’ to target non-locals, including government staff, those in the Valley for a long stay and Kashmiri Pandits. It asked petrol bombs and stones to be thrown at ‘informer’ locations locally and heads of educational institutions “that are hand in glove with the regime” to be targeted.

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