SRINAGAR: Kashmir has witnessed a surge in terrorist attacks in recent weeks, with non-locals and panchayat representatives emerging as the new target of Pakistan-backed terror outfits even as a widespread crackdown by security forces has left 44 terrorists dead in the Valley since early January.
The fresh wave of killings by terrorists appears to be targeted at non-Kashmiris, including migrant workers, and members of the panchayat raj institution.
Last Monday, terrorists shot dead a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Lal Chowk area of Srinagar city, besides injuring three persons including two non-local labourers in southern Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Shopian.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh termed these acts as frustration of terror groups and diktats from their masters sitting in Pakistan. He said that such acts will not be tolerated and action against the perpetrators will be taken.
“These incidents in which migrant labourers were attacked and a member of the minority community was targeted are signs of barbaric and beastly acts,” the DGP stated.
The police, which is on the forefront of the war on terror, said that the attacks were carried out by Pak-based Lashkar-e-Taiba offshoot The Resistance Front (TRF) and Hizbul Mujahideen, a group traditionally comprising of local terrorists.
In recent attacks, notably, TRF terrorists have mostly used easily-concealable small arms like pistols.
In a widespread crackdown, security forces have eliminated 44 terrorists in the last three months in multiple anti-terror operations across the Kashmir valley.
On Wednesday morning, two terrorists were killed in an encounter in Tral area of Pulwama district in southern Kashmir.
The fresh spate of killings and attacks have spread panic among some sections of the population, with reports emerging that minority Hindus and migrant workers have started leaving Kashmir towards Jammu and other areas.
On Saturday last week, a terror attack on a family of policemen in Budgam district left two brothers including a cop dead. The terrorists had forced their way into the family’s home in Budgam and opened indiscriminate firing that killed Special Police Officer (SPO) Ishfaq Ahmad Dar and critically injured his brother, Umar Ahmad who breathed his last in a hospital the day after.
The attack on Dar’s family is the latest in a series of targeted attacks in the Kashmir Valley.
Last months, terrorists murdered three panchayat members in separate attacks in the Valley.
To prevent attacks on soft targets, the Kashmir Police have started night patrolling in remote villages where non-locals work and Kashmiri Pandits live, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said.
“This is to prevent militants from attacking soft targets,” the IGP said and added that the terrorists involved in recent attacks on non-Kashmiris in Pulwama and a Kashmiri Pandit in Shopian have been identified.
“Foreign terrorist are pushing locals forward to keep themselves safe, but we are tracking foreigners too, and will either arrest them or kill them in encounters,” he warned.