Updated December 22nd, 2023 at 21:11 IST

Renewed terrorism threat grips Rajouri-Poonch, Intelligence flags ISI's sleeper cells re-activation

This potential resurgence comes after more than 15 years of relative peace, putting security forces on high alert.

Rajouri-Poonch on Alert | Image:PTI
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Srinagar: Responding to intelligence inputs indicating the reactivation of sleeper cells in Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu and Kashmir, security measures have been beefed up in the twin border districts. Authorities have implemented heightened security protocols across the region, reflecting growing concerns and suspicions pointing towards the involvement of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). 

This potential resurgence comes after more than 15 years of relative peace, putting security forces on high alert and prompting a massive operation to thwart any dangerous move.

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Security experts revealed that “the recent surge in terrorist activities aims to divert the attention of Indian security forces from their ongoing operations in the Kashmir Valley,”

“The methods employed in yesterday's attack on an army vehicle near Dehra Ki Gali (DKG) mirrored tactics observed in the North East, signalling a potential shift in the approach of terror groups operating in the area,” experts added further.

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According to intelligence reports, approximately 50 Pakistani terrorists are suspected to be hiding in the forested areas of Rajouri-Poonch alone.

Defense sources hint at a broader strategy by the Pakistan-China nexus, aiming to maintain a significant military presence in Jammu and Kashmir and obstructing the possible easing of troops from the Ladakh sector.

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“Indian security forces face a multifaceted challenges as they grapple with the suspected resurgence of terrorism in a region that had witnessed successful stabilization in recent years,”said Defense source

In the wake of the attack, a large-scale operation has been launched in the rugged upper reaches of Rajouri and Poonch.

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On Friday, two suspects were detained near the site, with security forces suspecting them of having vital information about the attackers.

Cordon and search operation (CASO) is in progress, extending into the night hours. The use of sniffer dogs and drones enhances efforts to locate terrorists trapped in the dense woods of the hilly region.

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General-Officer-Commanding (GoC) XVI Corps, Lt Gen Sandeep Jain and DGP J&K R.R Swain also visited the area to assess the situation, emphasizing the gravity of the situation.

Amidst the ongoing encounter and to mitigate potential collateral damage, the Thanamandi-Buffliaz road connecting Rajouri with Poonch has been closed since yesterday as a precautionary measure.

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In 26 months, border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu witnessed the tragic loss of 36 soldiers, including officers. This traffic toll is the result of nine terror attacks and encounters.

From January 2023 to till now, a total of 20 soldiers have tragically lost their lives in a series of four separate attacks, each characterized by an identical modus operandi. 

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Published December 22nd, 2023 at 21:11 IST