New Delhi: At least 55 terrorists managed to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir since 5 August, when the Narendra Modi government announced its decision to scrap Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two union territories.
According to an assessment by the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) of Indian intelligence, a total of 114 terrorists have managed to sneak into Kashmir from Pakistan since 1 January, of which 55 crossed over after 5 August.
However, Army sources have challenged the figure, saying the actual number is much smaller according to their estimates. The sources said a large number of infiltration attempts were foiled, with many terrorists shot dead or forced to retreat.
The Line of Control is manned by the Army, which has set up multiple anti-infiltration grids.
The Army sources said the International Border in Punjab is also an infiltration point, but sources in the security establishment said the MAC figures were from Jammu and Kashmir, not from any other boundary. The security sources also argued that the MAC has representatives from the Army, and that the figure was arrived at on the basis of inputs from multiple agencies.
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Lull after Balakot
A security source told ThePrint that there was a lull in infiltration in the summer, after the Pulwama terror attack and India’s air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot.
“The infiltration has been more or less the same as every year. There was a lull after Balakot, but it picked up again in mid-July,” the source said.
The source said the Pakistan Army had actually shut down camps after Balakot, fearing global scrutiny. However, the camps were reactivated as news came in of additional deployment of forces in Kashmir ahead of 5 August.
In August, ThePrint had reported on Pakistan’s plans to push as many as 100 battle-hardened terrorists from Afghanistan into the Valley.
Intelligence inputs (not MAC) had then suggested that nearly a dozen potential infiltrators of Afghan origin had been identified at a terrorist launch pad at Lipa Valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), opposite the Uri and Tangdhar sectors of Jammu and Kashmir.
This was seen as part of the Pakistani deep state’s response to the 5 August decision.
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