The continuing unrest in Kashmir is affecting the Army’s routine movements and operations as well as intelligence gathering, sources admit even as the Chief of the Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh, is in Srinagar to review the security situation in the Valley.
The major source of local intelligence inputs for the Army in the Valley is Jammu & Kashmir police who gather it from the local population. With continuing protests and curfew in many places in south Kashmir, intelligence gathering has been hampered.
Reports from most parts of south Kashmir say that policemen have abandoned their posts and daily deployment. “Intelligence gathering, our routine movement, and even local counter-terrorism operations have been affected because of this,” a senior officer said.
This is because of the disruption of normal life as well as restriction on the movement of people. In addition, there is fear among the police and the civilians due to the simmering anger against security forces.
The valley has been on the boil since Burhan Wani, the poster boy of the valley’s militancy, was killed in an encounter in Anantnag district on July 8.
Further, the Army has been tasked to assist the police and Central Reserve Police Force in controlling the violent protests diverting them from their primary task.
Rise in infiltration bids
The whole situation, Army officials say, is leading to regrouping and consolidation of terrorists who are already in the valley. Concurrently there is a steep increase in infiltration attempts compared to last year.
“The numbers have been greatly reduced in recent times due to effective counter terrorism grid which has also out a check on infiltration. But this leeway now due to protests is giving a chance to regroup,” another officer observed.
With no let-up in violence, officials are hoping that the situation will ease once winter starts setting in the next few months. The snow also closes the passes making infiltration impossible.