300 terrorists active in J&K, infiltration up: HM
‘Pak based terror groups remain threat’
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today said Pakistan-based terrorist groups continue to sponsor, plan and organise terror act in India and their activities remain a threat in the hinterland. Addressing members of the Consultative Committee for Home Ministry, he said groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba continue to sponsor terror acts in India.
“It is seen that the planning and organising of terrorist acts from across the border continue. Terrorists active in the hinterland remained a threat,” he told the Committee at a meeting here. A terrorist group by the name of Indian Mujahideen was set up by Pakistan-based terrorist elements in order to retain deniability and most of the recruits in the IM were drawn from India. “Security agencies have managed to identify and arrest most of the IM operatives. Their leaders, however, remain at large,” he said, adding the Government has carried out an assessment of the legal regime and the mechanisms for counter terrorism and has taken concerted steps to strengthen these.
Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said there have been continuous efforts to bring about better initiatives to tackle terrorism by comprehensive rules of engagement, inclusive of legal framework, additional recruitments, intelligence network and coordination with civil administration. Border management, mobility and communication system for improving the security situation and combating terrorism are other measures in this regard, he said.
Home Minister Shinde said Left-wing extremism was one of the gravest challenges for the country and the strategy to be adopted to combat violence in these areas has to be a combination of security measures coupled with development. He informed that a series of steps to combat terrorism in the country has been taken which include sharing of intelligence through close and effective coordination among Central and State level agencies and creation of four regional hubs (Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata) of National Security Guards (NSG) to cover the whole country which have strengthened the efforts to combat terrorism.
The members of the Committee deliberated on all aspects of combating terrorism in the country and discussed the recent incidents of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and North-Eastern States, Left-wing extremism, coordination among security agencies, rehabilitation policy and security arrangements along the borders.
The Committee also appreciated the services of the forces including paramilitary in relief and rescue work during the recent Uttarakhand floods. Meanwhile, Pakistan-based militant groups have intensified their infiltration attempts along the border in Jammu and Kashmir where around 300 terrorists continue to be active, according to the Home Ministry.
In a presentation at the meeting of the Consultative Committee for Home Ministry today, it said efforts from Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir based elements to spawn enhanced level of violence in the State by scaling up infiltration and smuggling of arms and ammunition from across the LoC continue. “In 2012, 264 terrorists attempted infiltration from across the LoC as compared to 247 in 2011. Also, there was a rise in instances of successful infiltration as compared to previous years with 121 terrorists entering Jammu and Kashmir in 2012 as compared to 52 in 2011,” the Home Ministry told the Consultative Committee members.
Meanwhile, ministry sources said there have been increased attempts by militant groups based in PoK to send extremists into Jammu and Kashmir in recent weeks.
Though few militants have been successful to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir, most of the infiltration attempts have been foiled by security forces deployed along the border, sources said citing intelligence inputs. They said as of now around 250 to 300 militants are active in the state and are waiting for opportunities to disturb peace in the State. Besides, there were incidents of violation of ceasefire along the Line of Control by Pakistani troops ostensibly to facilitate infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir. Last fortnight, eight Army soldiers were killed and 11 others injured in a gunfight with a group of terrorists in Bemina on the outskirts of Srinagar.
A Junior Commissioned Officer was killed when Pakistan opened heavy fire with automatic weapons and rockets on Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch sector last month. Pakistani troops had pounded Indian posts along LoC in the Poonch sector with rockets in May. A Brigadier and two jawans were injured when Pakistani troops opened fire on Indian positions along the LoC in Tutmari Gali sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
On June 26, two militants were killed as Army troops foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. (PTI)