Opinion: Why terrorists specifically attack Indian army camps

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India Feb 13, 2018, 11.21 AM (IST) Major Amit Bansal

Since the NDA government came to power in the centre, we have noticed two major things related to terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir. The first is an all-out integrated approach to target terrorists and neutralise them under "Operation All Out” and second is the reaction of the terrorist outfits in the form of increased frequency of attacks on the camps of the security forces. 

Under "Operation All Out” all the stakeholders, including Special Forces, Army, Rashtriya Rifles, Paramilitary forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police are acting as a joint team not only to neutralise the terrorists, they had also been successfully handling stone pelters in the valley. The joint operation yielded very good results and, in 2017 alone, more than 213 terrorists were killed by the security forces which gave a big blow to the aspirations of people across the border.

This was a matter of serious concern for Pakistan ISI as well as the terrorist organisations like Lashkar-E- Taiyaba, Jaish-e- Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen. “Operation All Out” not only gave a major blow to the Pak sponsored terrorism but also lowered the morale of the terror outfits. There was a time when no one was ready to take over the top position in the terror group as many of the newly joined recruits from Kashmir were killed by the security forces.

Pak Army was also worried over the Indian Army and the BSF's response to retaliatory firing at border posts and growing casualties of its men. They were finding it difficult to carry out the old strategy of BAT and sniper attacks on Indian personnel as forces were giving befitting responses. More than 138 Pakistani soldiers were killed when Indian forces strongly retaliated at the ceasefire violation caused by them. ISI too had a serious concern and that’s why the Pakistani authorities called for a meeting of the ISI and leaders of various terror outfits at Rawalpindi in the last week of December 2017. Members of the ISI, Pak Army, Hafiz Sayeed, Massoud Azhar and other representatives of Hizbul Mujahideen participated in the same. 

Their prime worry was low morale of their cadres and difficulties in recruitment of fresh terrorists from Kashmir. During the meeting, they worked out a two-pronged strategy. Firstly, to infiltrate militants under heavy cover of LoC firing to support Kashmiri militants and, secondly, to weaken the morale and operation capacity of SF by attacking their convoys and camps. 

Indian agencies which had the knowledge of the meeting have begun their counter preparations to tackle fresh designs of attacks from the ISI in the coming months. Indian intelligence agencies confirmed the news of this meeting and the same was further confirmed on 5th January 2018 when IGP of CRPF, Ravideep Singh Sahi revealed that in near future terrorists are going to resort to a new kind of tactics which will include standoff attacks on security forces, hit and run as well as grenade lobbying.

This new tactic was aimed to address some of the concern of the Pakistan Army and the ISI. 

•    The very first aspect was to compel security forces to adopt a defensive strategy in separation from the existing offensive one, thus, saving their cadres from being killed mercilessly.

•    Secondly, because these attacks will be carried on in areas full of sympathisers, it would have helped in ushering the morale of their cadres.

•    They thought that this hit and run tactics will save their cadres from getting killed easily and there will be more chances of damage to the security forces.

•    Putting IEDs on the routes frequented by security forces will slow their movements and they will now be more cautious. This will affect the speed and agility of the forces by which they were attacking the terrorists by now.

•    Praising and popularising such attacks through Islamic radicals and their recruiters in the valley to facilitate new recruitments.

•    Attacking military installations will affect the morale of the security forces too. 

The terror outfits soon started to perform as per the new tactics of their masters as is evident from the number of attacks carried out in 2018 itself. There has been a total of 22 attacks in just 44 days which means one attack every alternate day. Most of the attacks are hit and run type and were targeted to lower the speed of the security forces. The suicide (Fidayeen) attack on the camps were majorly targeted to lower the morale and cause a panic in the families of the soldiers.

Since the taking over of NDA Government in the centre we have seen two major things related to terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir. The first is an all-out integrated approach to target terrorists and neutralise them under :Operation All Out” and second is the reaction of the terrorist outfits in the form of increased frequency of attacks on the camps of the security forces. The first one is known very well as to how all the stakeholders including Special Forces, Army, Rashtriya Rifles, Paramilitary forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police are acting as a joint team to not only neutralise the terrorists but also successfully handling stone pelters in the valley. The joint operation yielded very good results and in 2017 alone, more than 213 terrorists were killed by the security forces which gave a big blow to the aspirations of people across the border.

This was a matter of serious concern for Pakistan ISI as well as the terrorist organisations like Lashkar-E- Taiyaba, Jaish-e- Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen. “Operation All Out” not only gave a major blow to the Pak sponsored terrorism but also lowered the morale of the terror outfits. There was a time when no one was ready to take over the top position in the terror group as many of the newly joined recruits from Kashmir were killed by the security forces in a brutal manner.

Pak Army was also worried over the Indian Army and the BSF's response during retaliatory firing at border posts and growing casualties of its men. They were finding it difficult to carry out old strategy of BAT and sniper attacks on Indian personnel as forces were giving befitting responses. More than 138 Pakistani Soldiers were killed when Indian forces strongly retaliated the cease fire violation caused by them. ISI too had a serious concern and that’s why the Pakistani authorities called for a meeting of ISI, Leaders of various terror outfits at Rawalpindi in the last week of Dec 2017. ISI, Pak Army, Hafiz Sayeed, Massoud Azhar and representatives of Hizbul Mujahideen participated in the same.

Their prime worry was low morale of their cadres and difficulties in recruitment of fresh terrorists from Kashmir. During the meeting, they worked out a two-pronged strategy. Firstly, to infiltrate militants under heavy cover of LoC firing to support Kashmiri militants and secondly to weaken the morale and operation capacity of SF by attacking their convoys and camps.

Indian agencies which were in the know of the meeting have begun their counter preparations to tackle fresh designs that the ISI will use to unleash in coming months. Indian intelligence agencies confirmed this news of this meeting and the same was further confirmed on 05th Jan 2018 when IGP of CRPF, Ravideep Singh Sahi revealed that in near future terrorists are going to resort to a new kind of tactics which will have standoff attacks on Security forces, Hit and Run or Grenade lobbying.

This new tactic was aimed to address some of the concern of Pakistan Army and ISI.

  • The very first aspect was to compel security forces to adopt a defensive strategy from the existing offensive one thus, saving their cadres from being killed mercilessly.
  • Secondly, due to these attacks in areas full of sympathisers would have helped in ushering the morale of their cadres.
  • They thought that this Hit and run tactics will save their cadres from getting killed easily and there will be more chances of damage to the security forces.
  • Putting IEDs on the routes frequented by Security forces will slow their movements and they will now be more cautious. This will affect the speed and agility of the forces by which they were attacking the terrorists by now.
  • Praising and popularising such attacks through Islamic radicals and their recruiters in the valley to facilitate new recruitments.
  • Attacking military installations will affect the morale of the security forces too.

The terror outfits soon started to perform as per the new tactics of their masters and the timelines of year 2018 speaks out the same. There has been a total of 22 attacks in just 44 days which means one attack every alternate day. Most of the attacks are hit and run type and were targeted to lower the speed of the security forces. The Suicide (Fidayeen) attack on the camps were majorly targeted to lower the morale and cause a panic in the families of the soldiers.

Date

Type of Attack

Location

Casualties

01 Jan 2018

Suicide Attack

Letpora, Pampore

05 policemen Martyred

02 Jan 2018

Firing at police station

Pulwama

NIL

06 Jan 2018

IED Blast

Sopore, Baramula

04 Policeman Martyred

08 Jan 2018

Fire at Police Patrol

Tahab, Pulwama

NIL

10 Jan 2018

IED Blast

Kamalkote, Uri

01 Soldier injured

12 Jan 2018

Attack on Police post

Keegam, Shopian

NIL

13 Jan 2018

Recovery of IED

Srinagar City

NIL

15 Jan 2018

Infiltration Bid Foiled

Uri, Baramula

05 JeM Terrorists killed

18 Jan 2018

Recovery of IED

Pounda, Doda

NIL

19 Jan 2018

Grenade attack

Police Station- Pulwama

08 Policemen injured

22 Jan 2018

Grenade attack

Azad Jung- Baramula

One Policemen injured

22 Jan 2019

Grenade attack

Khrew Chowk, Pampore

One Policeman Injured

24 Jan 2018

Recovery of IED

Tangpora, Pampore

NIL

26 Jan 2018

Grenade Attack

Police Station- Pulwama

NIL

27 Jan 2018

Grenade Attack

Warpora, Sopore

02 Policemen injured

01Feb 2018

Firing at Police Station

Banura, Pulwama

NIL

03 Feb 2018

Grenade Attack

Tral, Pulwama

05 Policemen injured

05 Feb 2018

Grenade Attack

RR Camp, Kakarpora

NIL

06 Feb 2018

Terrorist attack

SMHS Hospital, Srinagar

02 Policemen Martyred

10 Feb 2018

Suicide Attack

Sunjuwan, Jammu

06 Soldiers Martyred

12 Feb 2018

Terrorist attack

CRPF HQ, Srinagar

02 Policemen Martyred

13 Feb 2018

Terrorist attack

Damana, Jammu

NIL

 

So, with the changing strategy of the terror outfits, the security forces have also changed their tactics and started acting accordingly. The recent attacks on CRPF Headquarters in Srinagar and Damana in Jammu were successfully thwarted.

As far as the attack on Sunjuwan camp is concerned, my personal take is the security forces did a wonderful job. I had seen several suicide (Fidayeen) attacks in the past and know about their planning and intensity. The way this attack was immediately detected and repulsed with minimal casualties, the security forces deserve an applause. While we salute our martyrs, who laid down their lives in this attack, the overall operation will definitely be called a success. We must keep the fact in mind that the terrorists were supported by locals and were holed up in a built-up area full of the families of soldiers and all of them were unarmed.

With all these sequence of events, one thing is absolutely clear that the morale of terrorists as well as their masters sitting across is breaking down. They are looking for ways and means to keep this movement going but finding it difficult. The cracking down on separatists, their financial network as well as over ground workers (OGWs) is making the task furthermore complicated.

The need of the day is now a final blow to the terror camps across the Line of Control. India must break the so-called sanctity of the Line of Control because the area across LoC belongs to us and we have full rights to thwart any unlawful activity from that area.  This is the right time and right momentum and just need a strong political will. A perfectly planned and executed action now will certainly give lot of tactical and strategic mileage to the Indian security forces.

So, with the changing strategy of the terror outfits, the security forces have also changed their tactics and started acting accordingly. The recent attacks on CRPF Headquarters in Srinagar and Damana in Jammu were successfully thwarted. 

As far as the attack on Sunjuwan camp is concerned, my personal take is the security forces did a wonderful job. I had seen number of suicide (Fidayeen) attacks in the past and know about their planning and intensity. The way this attack was immediately detected and repulsed with minimal casualties, the security forces deserve an applause. While we salute our martyrs, who laid down their lives in this attack, the overall operation will definitely be called a success. We must keep the fact in mind that the terrorists were supported by locals and were holed up in a built-up area full of the families of soldiers and all of them were unarmed. 

With all these sequences of events, one thing is absolutely clear that the morale of terrorists as well as their masters sitting across the border is breaking down. They are looking for ways and means to keep this movement going but finding it difficult. The cracking down on separatists, their financial network, as well as overground workers (OGWs), is making the task more complicated. 

The need of the day is now to deal a final blow to the terror camps across the Line of Control. This is the right time and right momentum and just need a strong political will. A perfectly planned and executed action now will certainly give a lot of tactical and strategic mileage to the Indian security forces. 

 

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)   

Major Amit Bansal

Major Amit Bansal is is a Defence Strategist with keen interests in International Relations and Internal Security. He is also an author, blogger and poet.