Ceasefire improved security along LoC, alertness needed: Core Group

‘Propaganda through social media, internet major challenge’

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Jan 21: The top security officials today said that the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) has improved the security situation along the LoC but warned that the intelligence inputs of militant launch pads and training activities in Pakistan indicate the need to be alert.
The officials at the Core Group meeting held here at Badami Bagh Cantonment stated that the ceasefire has improved the security situation along the border. “However, intelligence inputs of terrorist launch pads and terrorist training activities in Pakistan indicate the need to be alert along the Line of Control”, they said.
They said that despite late snow keeping infiltration routes open for longer time, effective security domination has led to decrease in infiltration.
“On the Line of Control, late snow has kept the infiltration routes open for longer time, however effective domination has ensured decrease in overall infiltration including those from South of Pir Panjal. The vigil on the Line of Control against infiltration of men, drugs and weapons is continuing”, a statement issued here by the Defence spokesman said.
The officials said that the major challenge is the propaganda through internet and social media. “Sadly, these efforts include propaganda to legitimize killing of Kashmiri civilians by the terrorists. The use of social media to spread disinformation is widespread and needs to be countered proactively by a joint effort. Efforts at synergy in exposing fake news, booking of radicals trying to foment unrest and proactive sharing of information by state agencies are being upgraded”, the statement said.
Core Group of top officials of civil administration, Intelligence agencies and security forces met today at Badami Bagh Cantonment to review the security situation in Kashmir. The meeting was co-chaired by the General Officer Commanding, Chinar Corps, Lt Gen DP Pandey and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh.
“The Core Group reviewed the intelligence inputs and security parameters of 2021. Year 2021 witnessed a reduction in terrorist infiltration, reduced terrorist incidents, reduced terror recruitment, increased operations based on HUMINT, reduced collateral damage, no civil casualties in law and order situation, reduced SF casualties, increased arrest of terrorists and booking of OGWs; all pointing to effective conduct of joint operations and activities by intelligence and security agencies. There has been increased neutralization of Pakistani terrorists in last few weeks. The effort of the frontline soldiers and operatives of all agencies were acknowledged by all present”, read the statement.
The Core Group discussed fresh strategies of the militant organizations and their handlers including use of Hybrid militants and targeting of soft targets.  ”15 terrorists killed in 2021 were fresh names not on the security forces radar”, read the statement.
“The setting up of SIA and the increased booking by NIA is showing impact of focused intelligence and investigation efforts. These efforts have been effective in targeting drug, hawala and the OGWs networks. Legal action on those willfully harbouring terrorists is being increased as the harbourers have direct involvement in terror activities”, the statement said.
The DGP and the Corps Commander commended the officials present on improved security indicators.
They appreciated that post the abrogation of Article 370, certain bench marks were set which have been achieved successfully for the restoration of peace and prosperity in the region.
The DGP stated that reduction in local militant recruitment is one parameter that all must approach with continued focus.  ”A special mention was made on the measures taken to minimize the collateral damage in operations despite risk to own soldiers”, the statement said.
He recommended continued efforts to give chance of surrenders to local militant to give them a second chance at living a fruitful life.
The Corps Commander called upon all to treat 2022 as a transformative year where common man used to zero civilian casualties in 2021 should see 2022 as the year when things turned for good for the long term.
He cautioned the trend of the militants to use urban areas with thick built up area for operations as they provide more avenues to hide or escape and puts higher onus in security forces to exercise restraint to avoid collateral damage.
He expressed satisfaction at low security force casualties in 2021 by better intelligence-based operations and improved tactical drills. He called for continued efforts along with the civil society to counter the separatist propaganda and break the cycle of violence for long term peace in Kashmir.