SRINAGAR: Security forces are gearing up for a significant winter offensive to deal a crushing blow to militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

This offensive follows the recent spurt in militant attacks in the valley. More than four people have been killed, and over 60 people were injured in different incidents including grenade blasts, and shoot and scoot attacks in the last one month.

“Terrorists are making all-out attempts to disrupt the situation in Jammu and Kashmir to please their masters across the border. Our forces are committed and capable enough to the country any anti-peace act,” said Dilbag Singh, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police.

The police chief added that the action against militants would continue in Jammu and Kashmir. “Action against terrorists would continue, and all suspicious elements will be kept under check to foil their nefarious designs of disrupting normal lives of people,” he mentioned.

Singh was chairing a meeting to review security protocols following the recent militant attacks in south Kashmir. “Terrorists, involved in the killing of Sarpanch Syed Rafiq and government employee Sheikh Zahoor in a militant attack at Hakoora-Anantnag, have been identified as Junaid and Zubair of Hizbul Mujahedeen. They will soon be brought to law,” the DGP said.

Data compiled by different security agencies put the number of militants operating in Kashmir at 300, of which 170 are locals and 130 Pakistanis. This year around 152 militants have been neutralised in different anti-militancy operations. Of which 120 were locals and 32 foreigners, mostly Pakistanis.

From January to November 17,594 militancy-related incidents were witnessed in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 37 civilians and 79 security personnel were killed. Last year, 614 militancy-related events were registered in which 39 civilians and 91 force personnel were killed.

After the abrogation of Article 370, three security force personnel and 17 civilians were killed, while 129 persons were injured in different militancy-related incidents across Jammu and Kashmir. In 2018, 328 attempts of infiltration from across the border were recorded. This year so far, 171 attempts were logged.

“Militants seem to be frustrated as they are finding it difficult to operate because of intense operations by our troops,” said Major General K Sengupta, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Army‘s Counter-Insurgency Division ‘Victor Force’.

What has however baffled security forces is that militants are now relying on Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to inflict maximum casualties. Sensing their designs, authorities have devised a new strategy to thwart attempts to create large-scale casualties in the valley.

“We have increased the vigil in such a way that we can recover and defuse explosives beforehand,” said Sengupta.c

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