Drones continue to be in the air, terrorists are trying to infiltrate, hefty activity in training camps across LOC/IB is not great news as Independence Day approaches!
-‘It is a curious situation here in Jammu and Kashmir. Though everything looks fine yet there is a feeling that there is something that is happening which is not visible. Definitely the drone activity is on the increase and this was an expected conclusion after a payload of explosives was dropped at Jammu airport. That incident sent out a very clear and emphatic message that something was happening on the other side of the IB, from where exactly the same could not be figured out, then similar activity was seen over Ratnuchak, Samba, Hira Nagar, Kanachak and now over Jammu also. This is a further indication the aerial activity is being initiated from the other side of the International Border which is/was a center of the aerial activity. With the Pak Rangers keeping silent after the cease fire on Feburary 25, 2021 there ought to be someone who is initiating this activity over Jammu and there is a high degree possibility that Pakistan could have or has relocated the terror camps across the IB now and it is from there the drones are being flown and it’s a well known fact that the terrorists have been trained to operate the hexa copters’ crude version but yet in the category of drones.
-‘Perhaps it seems that the terrorists want to deliver an undignified message, something like, we don’t like it, but our hands are tied by our masters here. We just want you to know this: if we ever get the chance to betray you, we will. If the opportunity arises to create a nuisance, we will take it. You’ll never be able to trust us. That is precisely what they are trying to do at the moment. But they would not be able to achieve much headway as the BSF on the borders, Indian Army on the LOC and the security grid in the hinterland is impregnable but still a disaster being manufactured by these men with destruction in mind cannot be ruled out’.
-‘ Just a few days back a news paper report emerged that nearly 100 Kashmiri youths, who travelled to Pakistan on valid visas for short durations, have either not come back or have disappeared after their return in last three years, raising an alarm within security agencies which fear that they could be possible sleeper cells of terror groups operating from across the border. It’s a possibility and the entire thing may be true also because infiltration has become hugely difficult as things are extremely tight on the LOC/IB so perhaps this option has been used. It was in April when this struck the security officials when an encounter occurred in jungles of Handwara (North Kashmir) near the LOC when in a fire fight five militants were killed. One amongst those who had been killed was a local boy who was missing since the year 2018. Then last year itself, youth from places such as Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag were part of the infiltrating group and they all have traveled to Pakistan on valid documents. Pretext could have been legitimate but the intention was bad. Information regarding sought from immigrant officials from Wagah border and New Delhi airport is being scrutinized but some stunning details are emerging that some youth did come back and some never returned. The figures are big enough to cause ripples in the security set up!’
Pakistan by all means is playing the blood and chocolate game. The leadership and the military across the borders may not be vociferous on Jammu and Kashmir as of now for various reasons yet the fact is that they are not sitting idle and the terrorists are very much on the prowl with the same mindset, I’d like to give you my heart, but since that might be inconvenient, I’ve brought you someone else’s. They are trying to disturb the prevailing environment but so far broadly speaking all their maneuvers have been brought to a naught by some sensational display of seek and annihilate missions launched by the security forces with a stern warning, keep your eyes open, keep your ears pricked. keep looking behind you. Because one day we will find you, and then you will be crow food. There are no forests of secrets in Kashmir anymore because each one has been searched in detail. Again it is up to the Kashmiri parents who can rein them in because in the minds of the fattened up bearded men across the ideology is the same and very familiar on the following lines, look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we have done all these years.’ There have been so many instances now that the same is happening even today? But for what?
Once again threats have emerged in multiples and all have been warded off. So far nothing big has happened but one thing can be analyzed after so many things happening one after the other in the past forty to forty five days, there is something eerie in the air. Some worrisome events did happen and they go something like this:
I. Activity in terror camps across in POK: By now the security agencies very well know that the launch pads have been shifted but the camps are active and if reports are to be believed then the sources say that they are functioning under the tutelage of the Pakistan Army. They would not have been functional without an aim of course and It is obvious that they would be launched. The security agencies are convinced that there was/is a six weeks’ training course for new terror recruits, intelligence inputs suggest that some of the youths were provided a quick module of fabrication of improvised explosive devices using easily available explosive material within a week’s time. This as per the sources is still happening.
II. Infiltration bids: At least two came to the fore front recently but both were intercepted but the fact is that the attempts were made. In coming days especially before the Independence Day they may increase or could be possible that some have already made it and they could be waiting for delivery of arms and ammunition for all of them which has been substantially choked due to heightened surveillance at the Line of Control/IB. The option of dropping weapons by Drones was taken up from across but the alert troops got the drones down. One thing that is striking here, In every encounter that takes place in the valley the terrorists are always heavily armed (as the after action reports suggest) and that also suggests that the weapons and ammunition is there in plenty. Where exactly? Information of these dark men moving about is available in plenty but what about the arms and ammunition? Though caches have been recovered, yet the monsterweapons are available in plenty!
III. Drone flights: Drone sightings along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir have increased in the wake of the attack on Air Force Station Jammu in June. Several drones that were neutralized were found to be carrying IEDs. The Centre has instructed all security agencies to be extra vigilant about any flying objects ahead of the Independence Day celebrations on August 15. Earlier on July 25, a high-level joint security forces meeting was held to review and discuss security preparation in Jammu. The Indian Army, Air Force, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CPRF), Intelligence bureau, and J&K police were part of the meeting. The meeting was held for discussing operational preparedness, coordination, and convergence on issues of mutual interest among the internal security forces. According to Security force sources, ahead of August 15, drone attacks are planned in the region. Also, some terrorists might use internal links to seek into Indian territory and carry out attacks in the Kashmir valley. The drones now have been sighted all along the IB and if totaled up 32 such flights have been calculated. Places such as Ratnuchak, Bari-Brahmana, Chiladya, Gagwal, Hiranagar, Jammu, Domana and Kanachak have sighted the Drones. The could be probing or gauging flights to cause panic and uncertainty but it’s a serious aerial threat and in our previous pieces we have given you many instances where these flying objects have been used to cause damage and they have managed to do it all over the globe. The handlers have been invariably the terrorists’.
IV. The threat is serious: The use of weaponized drones by lone individuals and small groups acting as proxies of nation-states is no longer just a concern for the future, but very much for the present. Worst still this technology is available to the terrorists across the border and they are seriously flying them obviously not for the sake of fun. Drones can hurt and let us be practical about that. The technology that can be used to lethally target individuals. Lone actors or small cells of terrorists, criminals, or insurgents can effectively harness the tactical flexibility of a small drone to wreak havoc. The same can happen, though it has not so far. State sponsorship of terrorist groups also increases the likelihood of drone attacks, since states can provide the necessary equipment and training. Pakistan has done that and the terrorists perhaps are flying them and obviously they are not doing for fun. More importantly they have a UAV Brigade deployed at Mangla if the reports are to be believed! Hezbollah has done it, Houthi rebels have used drones to ram Saudi air defences in Yemen. Some groups are mastering drone technology without the help of state sponsors. In Syria, the Islamic State has successfully used drones to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance in addition to carrying out offensive actions like dropping a grenade on an adversary’s military base. Pakistan too is doing the same and if they have trained the terror groups in using them the obvious thing is that they would be used against India.
So all the above threats cannot be taken lightly with Independence Day approaching. Almost on every Independence Day ever since the terrorism set its step on Indian soil Independence Day and Republic Day are on top priority as they are high value targets. This time also the same is the case and the reason for that is the new found aerial threat as terror from the skies is a different matrix altogether and this time it is goddamn real. Well no doubt that it would be taken care of but the fact remains that it is still very much a real threat!
There can be two syndromes here. The first is we have seen these flying objects in these past weeks so it is difficult to know which is worse. The terror you feel the first time you witness such things as we all did at Air Force Station Jammu, or the numbness that comes after it starts to become ordinary which is happening now because of the regularity with which they are flying all over now. The second is that we think there are limits to the dimensions of terrorist activity. But there are none until we encounter the unknown. And doing the unknown is the belief the terrorist carries with him. Most of the time he is a failure but can get lucky once with just that spark of insanity. By the way, it has happened several times in Jammu and Kashmir in the last three decades!