Tuesday, 24 May, 2022
HomeIndiaKashmir anti-insurgency units to add strength to fight rising militant attacks

Kashmir anti-insurgency units to add strength to fight rising militant attacks

Discussions are on to increase number of Special Operations Group units in each district, depending on the level of militant threat.

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration is likely to increase the strength of counter-insurgency units, known as Special Operations Group (SOG), in the wake of an increase in the number of militant attacks.

According to senior state administration officials, discussions are being held to increase the number of junior and mid-ranking personnel in SOGs, which are district operations unit of the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Discussions are also being held to increase the total number of SOG units, whose primary role is intelligence-gathering and combating militants in gunbattles.

“The decision to increase the strength of our ops (SOG) units has been in the pipeline for sometime now. Given the recent developments in the state such as killing of non-locals and militants targeting power supply, a final decision on increasing the strength is likely to be arrived at very soon,” said a senior state government official.

The official said the decision to increase the strength of SOG also comes amid reports of militant infiltration into Kashmir and fresh militant recruitment.

The increase in both the strength and number of SOG units will depend on the level of militant attacks in each district. At present, each district in Kashmir has a minimum of one or two SOG units, depending on the level of militant activities.

The districts that see high number of militant strikes have four to 10 SOG units. Each SOG unit is headed by a deputy superintendent of police (DSP)-rank officer.

Kulgam has the highest number of SOG units with nearly 30-40 policemen in each unit. Other high militant attack-prone districts are Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama.


Also read: ‘Hizbul-Lashkar team killing non-Kashmiris also had plan to cut Valley power supply’ 


Nearly 300 militants currently active in J&K

In the last two weeks, five non-Kashmiris have been killed in militant attacks in southern parts of the Valley. The suspected militants have also partially damaged an electricity transmission tower in Shopian’s Chitragam village.

While the killings and damage of the tower are believed to be carried out by local militants, security establishment is also concerned about over 60 Pakistani militants suspected to have infiltrated into the Valley in the first week of August after the Centre scrapped Article 370.

According to a senior police officer, the total number of militants currently active in the state is around 300.

J&K Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh had earlier said there are 200-300 militants in the Valley.

Sources in the police told ThePrint that the largest militant group as of now in Kashmir is Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which has a total strength of nearly 130. Hizbul Mujahideen is the second largest group with 100-odd militants.

“Even though Hizbul Mujahideen’s strength has always remained on par or more than LeT’s, it is for the first time in many years that the latter has more militants than the former. We suspect the infiltrators who managed to cross over into Kashmir might have been part of the LeT,” said another senior police officer.

The officer added that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which suffered massive blows during anti-insurgency operations conducted by the security forces after the Pulwama attack in February, has a strength of 40-50 militants.

DGP Singh had said last week Ansar-Gazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), a militant outfit inspired by al-Qaeda, had been “wiped out” of Kashmir with the last of its three militants being gunned down. AGH, which was formed by former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa after leaving the terror group in 2017, was coordinating with the JeM.


Also read: 3 yrs after Burhan Wani, Kashmir militants targeting each other in ideological conflict


 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The EU MPS are all from far right wing parties – see Jyoti’s article in the Print. So that explains Modi’s moves. Kashmir is not available for Indian parliamentarians.

    85 days have passed. I think many more will pass.

  2. A holistic approach, going beyond security, is necessary. 85 days have passed. 1,00,000 jobs have been lost, a humongous number on a population base of eight million. The visit of EU MPs is a small step, but in the right direction. May it be followed by many others.

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