Most J-K Jaish commanders neutralized, New launch pads open across LoC: In a possible effort to push terrorists from the Pakistan-based group into Jammu and Kashmir, terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) launch pads in new locations across the Line of Control have been activated, top counter-terror officials and senior Jammu and Kashmir police officials said. Although the latter added that this action is as a counteraction because Indian security forces have eliminated most of the Jaish leadership in the valley.
Most of Jaish leadership eliminated in J&K but new terror launch pads initiated across LoC
They added that JeM chief Masood Azhar’s nephew Mohammad Umair, who was seen around Pulwama in February, when a terrorist affiliated to it carried out a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy, killing 40, has either been killed or has gone back to Pakistan.
“We have inputs of many infiltrators waiting at the launching pads and we think infiltration will start sooner this year because of less snow. But we are taking countermeasures. One reason for the firing can be this (to push infiltrators). Whenever there is firing by Pakistan, it is certain there is an attempt to push infiltrators. The same thing happened in Kupwara and Tangdhar,” general officer commanding of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt General A.K. Bhatt, told reporters on the sidelines of a passing out parade at the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Centre in Srinagar.
The militants waiting across the LoC were in groups of 30-40 at many places from Lepa valley to Mandal area, near 161 brigade, Rampur, and other areas, he said.
Regarding the announcements made by Pakistan asking villagers to evacuate, Lt General Bhatt said that they were not for the villagers on this side of the LoC.
They advised a few of the villages there to vacate for safety reasons and my input is that those villages have also not vacated completely, he said.
“The ceasefire violations, initiated by Pakistan, have been appropriately responded to. But I would also like to tell you it is more of a local affair where due to their actions we have reacted at specific places. We do not intend to open the entire front. Our only thing is that we will retaliate if Pakistan indulges in any aggressive action or pushes infiltrators across,” he said.
Post Pulwama, the Pakistan Army cleared terrorist launch pads fearing a repeat of the 2016 Indian surgical strikes. After the Indian air strike at Jaish’s biggest terror training camp at Balakot, the globally proscribed group has threatened to get even by targeting innocents in hinterland India or security forces in the Valley. Communication intercepts indicate that Jaish will ratchet up violence in the Valley in the coming months, the counter-terror officials said.
“While Pakistan has taken some uncontrolled action against its nationals involved in terrorism to curry favour with Financial Action Task Force (FATF), it is continuing to shelter Indian fugitives like Dawood Ibrahim gang, remnants of Indian Mujahideen and Sikh radicals. If Pakistan really means business, why to provide shelter and comfort to Indian fugitives,” said one of the officials.