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Tuesday, July 16, 2024, 11:26 am

Tuesday, July 16, 2024, 11:26 am

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The time has come for quick and decisive action at the highest levels of government

The time has come for quick and decisive action at the highest levels of government
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On Monday, militants ambushed an Indian Army convoy in Badnota hamlet, 124 kilometers from Kathua in Jammu. Five soldiers were murdered. The bombing coincided with the death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen’s Burhan Wani, who was killed in an encounter in south Kashmir on July 8, 2016. This is the fourth terror event in the State within 48 hours and the latest in a string of strikes in the recent few months, mainly in the Jammu region, reinforcing a new trend of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir relocating to the Rajouri-Poonch area.

 

Terrorists attacked a bus in Reasi district on June 9, killing nine pilgrims and injuring 33. This occurred on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for his third term. The onslaught on the pilgrims reached a new low. After a period of insurgency in the late 1990s and early 2000s, this region has remained peaceful for over two decades. In 2003, Operation Sarp Vinash with local backing, particularly from the Gujjar-Bakerwal community, brought control to this situation.

 

The Indian Army is a highly trained and professional army, however there have been recurring cases of ambushes resulting in losses. This requires better compliance with standard operating procedures and enhanced operations. The recent increase in terror attacks along the Line of Control (LoC) is a cause for concern, especially given the shift in brutality. Many things may contribute to this tendency. Following the 2020 standoff with China, several troops were redeployed to the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, creating a significant vacuum on the ground. This has caused a gap in local intelligence.

 

Terrorist groups are increasingly using contemporary technology to sustain their insurgency. Inadequate security operations have eroded trust between the local population and the government. As international pressure mounts on Pakistan, local militants are taking the lead in the insurgency, replacing foreign terrorists who cross the LoC and lead attacks. New terror groups have emerged, claiming responsibility for certain assaults. These elements offer new challenges.

 

 

To address the crisis, a multilayered strategy is necessary, beyond simply increasing army levels. The time has come for quick and decisive action at the highest levels of government, involving all stakeholders.

 

 

ABHISHEK VERMA


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