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J&K Terror Attack: Amid rising terror attacks in J&K, government increases armed forces, but will it be enough?

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A sense of unease pervades Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch, where even the bustling marketplace is not immune to the specter of terrorism. Hidden within the green forest cover of the Pir Panjal region are highly trained Pakistani terrorists, presenting a significant challenge to security forces. Despite intensified patrolling following a recent surge in terrorist attacks, searching these dense forests remains a daunting task.

Resurgence of Terrorism

After an 18-year hiatus, terrorism has resurfaced in Poonch and Rajouri, with the first major attack on the army occurring in the forests of Surankote in October 2021. This resurgence has disrupted security calculations for Jammu and Kashmir, exacerbated by the abrogation of Article 370, which granted the region special status under the Constitution.Government Response
The recent attacks, including the targeting of pilgrims in Reasi, have prompted a strong response from the Central government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for deploying the full spectrum of anti-terror capabilities was followed by a high-level security review meeting convened by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to address the challenge.

Securing Communities

On the ground, the focus is on securing the Hindu community in Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley regions, areas previously targeted by terrorists. The police have revamped the Village Defence Guards (VDGs), village residents trained and armed by the government, sensitizing them to the current situation and urging vigilance.

“For 10 years, between 1995 and 2005, when terrorists tried to destabilize Jammu, Rajouri, Rajouri, Doda and Kishtwar, security forces with the help people completely destroyed them,” said RR Swain, the police chief of Jammu and Kashmir as reported in an NDTV report.

“The enemy is again trying to pose a similar challenge. We are determined to give them a fitting reply. We will kill them one by one,” he added.

Ensuring Public Support
Sayed Ahfadul Mujtaba, a former police officer, emphasized the importance of garnering local support to defeat the resurgence of terror. He highlighted the need for comprehensive policing to engage the population effectively, enabling the flow of critical information to security forces.

Escalating Threat
Since October 2021, the region has witnessed the deaths of 39 soldiers and 20 civilians. Sources indicate the presence of several terrorist groups in the Poonch, Rajouri, and Doda regions, equipped with advanced weapons and communication systems.

Government’s Strategy
In response to escalating threats, the government plans to bolster security forces in Jammu. Home Minister Amit Shah directed security agencies to implement innovative strategies, replicating the successful anti-terror efforts seen in Kashmir. These efforts include an area domination plan and zero-terror plan for the Jammu division, a new target for Pakistan-based terror outfits.

Concerns and Preparedness

The resurgence of terrorism has raised concerns among residents, who question the ease of infiltration despite border fencing and troop deployment. Additionally, cross-border drug trafficking is viewed as a key factor fueling terrorism. As the region prepares for the Amarnath Yatra, security arrangements are being heightened to ensure the safety of devotees.

The revival of terrorism in Poonch and Rajouri poses a significant challenge, requiring a concerted effort by security forces and the local population. With the government’s focus on innovative strategies and area dominance, the aim is to counter the escalating threat and prevent communal strife in the region.

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