570 Terrorist supporters Detained In J&K Over Targeted Killings
The Centre has dispatched a top official of the Intelligence Bureau to Srinagar to coordinate operations against terrorists. Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids at 15 locations in Jammu and Kashmir as part of its strategy on crackdown against terror-related activities.
With help of J&K Police and CRPF, the NIA has detained several stone-pelters and other separatists elements following targeted civilian killings across Kashmir. Around 70 have been detained in Srinagar after the Kashmir Valley witnessed seven civilian killings in a week. In all, 570 people have been detained across Kashmir.
Security forces have launched a massive crackdown against separatists elements in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of targeted terror attacks on minorities in the Union Territory. Several stone pelters and other anti-social elements have been detained by Jammu and Kashmir Police and are being questioned.
Of the six civilians killed in the last five days, four were from minority communities and six of the deaths took place in Srinagar, the main urban centre of the Valley.
A woman principal and a teacher were shot dead at point blank range inside a government school in Srinagar on Thursday.
Makhan Lal Bindroo, a prominent Kashmiri Pandit and owner of Srinagar’s most famous pharmacy, was shot dead at his shop on Tuesday. A ‘Chaat’ vendor, Virendra Paswan from Bihar, and another civilian, Mohammad Shafi Lone, were also killed on Tuesday in Srinagar and in Bandipora respectively.
According to official statistics, a total of 28 civilians were killed by terrorists so far in 2021. Out of the 28 killed, five persons belonged to local Hindu or Sikh communities and two were non-local Hindu labourers.
The NIA is on the lookout for a Pakistani terrorist, currently identified by his nickname ‘Chhota Walid’, who is believed to be the mastermind of the attacks targeting minorities over the last one week in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. Sources in the security establishment said the terrorist, who is believed to have had at least two previous stints in Kashmir, infiltrated into Indian territory around 20 days ago.
While the actual attacks are believed to have been carried out by local terrorists, the mastermind is ‘Chhota Walid’, who has been sent in to fire up terror activities. Several phone intercepts and inputs suggested that there is pressure on the local terrorists from their Pakistani handlers to carry out targeted attacks.
“There was reluctance on the part of local terrorists to carry out these orders. ‘Walid’ is believed to have infiltrated through the LoC around 20 days back to ensure that these attacks are carried out,” a source said.
It is believed that over the last two months, at least “four to five” groups of terrorists have managed to infiltrate in from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, with each group “traditionally” consisting of four to six terrorists.
While the Army has been able to neutralise certain infiltration bids, killing several terrorists and recovering a large cache of arms and ammunition, indications are that some groups managed to get in.
Incidentally, ‘Chhota Walid’ is not the only “Kashmir veteran” to have come in, sources said. After the local leadership was wiped out over the last few years, Pakistan is attempting to provide leadership to the local terrorists by sending in older ones who have had previous stints, the sources added.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police, along with central security forces, have been carrying out multiple search operations since the attacks on minority communities — Hindus and Sikhs — began on 5 October, which have claimed the lives of four Kashmiris and a street vendor from Bihar. Sources said several Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of terror groups have been picked up and questioning is on.
The security agencies have identified about 4-5 local terrorists who are believed to have carried out the attacks. However, the agencies are tight lipped on the names, because they feel more targeted attacks could take place — the priority is to track down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Multiple teams are working on this issue, with the Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF and the intelligence agencies working in coordination, the sources said. Army is also coordinating with the Security agencies.