Around 400 terrorists are currently in launching pads across the Line of Control (LoC), waiting to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir during the winters, after a tight anti-infiltration grid frustrated attempts by Pakistan to push them into the Indian side, according to security officials. A top police official said that Pakistan is trying to infiltrate terrorists along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir even during the winters when most of the passes and mountainous areas along the border are covered in heavy snow.
There have been reports of infiltration by 44 terrorists in 2020 as compared to 141 in 2019, they said. In 2018, 143 terrorists manage to infiltrate into J-K. Rattled by the success of India's anti-infiltration grid with the blocking of several key routes, the Pakistan Army carried out 5,100 ceasefire violations in 2020, the highest since the 2003 truce came into effect, in its attempt to push in more terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir under the cover of mortar shelling and firing, the officials said.
"There are 300 to 415 terrorists in various launching pads in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (PoK) along the LoC ready to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir to disturb peace and normalcy by engineering violence," an official said. While 175-210 terrorists are in launch pads along the LoC on the other side of the north of Pir Panjal (Kashmir valley), there are 119-216 terrorists opposite to the LoC area south of Pir Panjal (Jammu region), they said.
"Pakistani agencies are using tunnels to push in armed terrorists, weapons, ammunition and explosive material in J-K. "They are also using drones to ferry and drop weapons and explosive material into border areas in Jammu and Kashmir along with narcotics to finance terrorism," an official said.
This year, they are also trying to infiltrate terrorists into J-K even during the months of heavy snowfall. "In December last year, terrorists infiltrated into Poonch despite heavy snowfall but were neutralized," an official said.
A group of four JeM terrorists entered Samba via a tunnel and were neutralized after a truck carrying them to Kashmir was intercepted on the highway at Nagrota in Jammu in November last year, they said. Weapons and explosives besides narcotics were being dropped at seven places along the borderline with Pakistan in 2020, the officials said.
Security agencies identified over 20 entry routes along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir and put in place multi-tier security to thwart any attempt by Pakistan to infiltrate armed terrorists. "Over 20 infiltration routes have been identified and the security grid has been strengthened to prevent the entry of armed terrorists," another official said.
Apart from the first-tier of security of the Army and the BSF, village defence committees (VDCs) along the LoC and the international border (IB) have been activated, police checkpoints have come up and patrolling done in the hinterland around the border, they said. "All police stations and police posts have also been alerted to keep a tab on suspected movement in the border areas apart from activation of VDCs in border belts," the official said.
The terrorists had infiltrated into the Valley in recent months using routes from higher reaches of Gulmarg, Bandipora and Boniyar in Baramulla (north Kashmir) to reach southern parts of the state via Yusmarg, like the tribal raiders from Pakistan. Bandipora-Gangbal-Chatergul route, which had remained dormant over the years, was also being used by the militants this time, sources said.
The infiltration routes have been identified along the LoC and the IB in Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Rajouri, Poonch, Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara in districts, the sources said.