Other States

Violence dips, Army moves to stop infiltration

The Army is moving a reserve brigade to the Line of Control along Kupwara, even as agencies suspect more youngsters can join militant ranks because of fresh violence and anger triggered by the killing of the 22-year-old Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

A senior Army officer said the movement of 68 Brigade, part of the dynamic troop deployment strategy followed round the year, was not unusual.

Army sources said the reserve brigade of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps was in the process of deploying itself along the Shamshabari ridge in Kupwara. The deployment at a significant height would greatly increase the Army’s presence along the LoC, but could reduce its ability to carry out surprise deployments in the interiors of the Valley.

“The Army deployments are not static. It keeps changing based on the latest assessment of the corps commander,” a senior officer in Delhi said. He said it was not the entire brigade that was moving towards the LoC to strengthen the counter-infiltration grid.

The deployment began a few weeks before the July 8 killing of Wani, the young militant leader from Tral. The redeployment of the brigade, which has four battalions, would be completed in a few weeks, sources said.

The redeployment comes in the face of continuing infiltration by militants from across the border. The Army suspects that 38 terrorists have entered Kashmir from Pakistan so far this year. For the whole of last year, the figure was 36.

The Army says it has been able to eliminate 75 terrorists this year, many of them while infiltrating. Last year, the number was 38.

The stretch where the brigade is being deployed is also where significant infiltration happens. There are occasional reports of militants managing to cut the border fence to enter the Indian side.

The redeployment is taking place, coincidentally, at a time when the Valley is in the grip of an unusual level of violence after Wani’s killing. Also, the handling of the street protests by both the State police and the CRPF is also under severe criticism.

Since the protests started on July 9, at least 37 people have been killed, and more than 100 have suffered serious pellet injuries.

Senior government officials said the indiscriminate firing by the security personnel showed lack of proper leadership.

In the wake of the 2010 protests, when over 120 civilians were killed in firing by security forces, the Centre revised the strategy and introduced better crowd control mechanisms. However, all that seemed to have failed.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 9:17:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Violence-dips-Army-moves-to-stop-infiltration/article14488772.ece

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