The assessment of infiltrations increasing is based on ground intelligence from civilians, intercepts and evidence of fence-cutting in some areas. Photograph: (Getty)
Indian security forces fear that infiltration bids may rise further as Pakistan-based militant groups are currently on a recruitment spree
By Abhishek Bhalla
There has been an alarming surge in militant infiltrations from across Pakistan border, Indian authorities said.
Eighty-seven cross-border infiltrations have been reported so far this year, while the tally last year was 10, an unnamed official said.
Insiders warn that the situation is going to get worse as Pakistan-based militants are planning to launch retaliatory attacks following the surgical strikes allegedly conducted by India last month.
“The infiltration attempts are still continuing,” said a government official when asked whether India's strikes on the other side of Line of Control (LoC is a de facto border dividing India and Pakistan) has deterred militants in Pakistan.
The assessment of infiltrations increasing is based on ground intelligence from civilians, intercepts and evidence of fence-cutting in some areas.
Sources said the number of Pakistan-based militants who have been killed this year has also increased due to the jump in infiltration bids. Last year, in the corresponding period, around 70 militants were gunned down, while the tally this year is 128. The Indian army has killed 120 militants and the remaining eight were gunned down by either the paramilitary, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) or the local police.
Sources said a number of infiltrations have occurred along the LoC and it seems militants are going back to the old routes used for surreptitiously entering Indian territory. In 2013 and 2014, there had been increased infiltration bids from new routes along the International Border (IB).
Fears of recruitment by Pakistan-based militant groups has also alarmed Indian security forces. It is estimated that around 100 men have gone missing in the last three months.
Kashmir causes worry
Violent protests in India's Kashmir has also been a cause of worry for Indian security forces.
More than 100 arms have been looted by agitators following Hizbul Mujahideen local commander Burhan Wani's death in an encounter by Indian forces. Sources said militants are looting weapons to arm the new recruits.
Wani’s killing on July 8 triggered mass protests across Kashmir. Over 80 have died and thousands wounded ever since the upheaval sparked off in the Valley three months ago.
Pakistan 'plugging' border gaps
Intelligence inputs also indicate that after India’s surgical strikes, the Pakistani Army has carried out “precautionary deployment” all along the LoC, as they fear another round of strikes from Indian forces.
“Soon after our raids, they have increased deployment in areas they consider vulnerable. Precautionary deployment is roughly 25 per cent of a full mobilisation aimed to plug the gaps,” said an unnamed intelligence officer.
(WION with inputs from DNA)