Forebodings come true in Valley’s season of violence

With troops being moved to contain protests, attack was expected

September 19, 2016 12:24 am | Updated 12:24 am IST - Srinagar:

The Uri attack is likely to affect the Centre’s plans for moving more troops to the Jammu and Kashmir hinterland to contain the anti-government protests.

Sources said one Army Brigade, nearly 5,000 soldiers, were being deployed in the civilian pockets of north and south Kashmir to help the police in area domination and establishment of the state’s writ. Street violence and massive rallies continue to be the order of the day, particularly in south Kashmir.

Area domination

The Army has started area domination in south Kashmir, where its counter-insurgency operations have come to naught due to mass rallies and street protests for the past 71 days.

It was set to move more troops to south Kashmir, but may have to slow it down in the wake of the Uri attack.

Intelligence reports have warned of more such attacks in the coming days.

Two operations against on-the-run local militants in Pulwama’s Tral and Kareemabad areas were called off after stone-throwing protesters targeted the security forces in the past two months. No militant has either been killed or arrested in south Kashmir following the civilian unrest after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

Experts fear the Uri attack was aimed at putting pressure on the Army. “[I] Warned the commander specifically on September 8. [The Uri attack] happened in 10 days. [It’s] done to remove pressure from the hinterland as the Army moves [in],” said Syed Ata Hasnain, former General Officer Commanding of the 15 Corps, who has served in Uri. Mr. Hasnain said fidayeen attacks remained a security challenge. “Warnings do not matter in this. A determined small group can get through. Never 100 per cent proofing against it (sic),” Mr. Hasnain tweeted.

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