Local militants take advantage, return home
JAMMU, June 2: The State Government has very credible inputs that some militants and their commanders were systematically trying to sabotage ‘Ramzan ceasefire’ announced by the Centre Government by indulging in attacks on security forces and inciting youths to pelt stones on the troops to increase level of violence to prompt the Union Home Ministry to call off ceasefire.
“Militants are trying to create violence at every level especially by attacking security forces at different places with gunfire and grenade attacks and provoking the youth to subject paramilitary forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police vehicles to heavy stone pelting. This is being done to raise level of violence during the month of ceasefire, which, otherwise, had gone down during first fortnight (of the ceasefire),’’ top official sources told the Excelsior.
During the past few days, the State Government has observed different type of strategy adopted by various militants and their commanders belong to different outfits especially Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen under which they have been targeting security convoys, police installations, security personnel deployed at various places and other vital places by throwing grenades or opening firing to ensure that number of incidents, which had gone down sharply during first fortnight of ‘Ramzan ceasefire’, increase during the second half, which was very crucial for Jammu and Kashmir.
“Extension or no extension in the ceasefire by the Union Government would depend on the level of violence during remaining period of holy Ramzan month. The Centre Government especially the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Defence Ministry were keenly watching security situation in Jammu and Kashmir,’’ sources pointed out and admitted that security forces were not only strictly observing ceasefire but also exercising maximum restraint to keep the level of violence to the minimum during this period of time to make the ceasefire successful.
Noting that even Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat had indicated extension in ceasefire beyond Eid festival if the violence remained under control, sources said, a deliberate attempt is now being made to increase the level of violence by various militant outfits as they don’t want extension of ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Extension of ceasefire would mean death knell for the militants as it would give a message not only in the country but at the international level that normalcy was returning to the Valley, which the militants, their commanders and mentors don’t want. That is why they want to keep the pot boiling by stepping-up attacks on security forces,’’ top sources pointed out.
Sources said earlier the militants were inciting the locals to gather at the encounter sites and subject security forces to stone pelting to help militants escape, leaving security personnel with no option but to fire at the civilians in which locals were killed or injured. Now when the encounters have been suspended by the security forces in view of ceasefire, the militants were provoking youth to target security force vehicles with stone pelting, they added.
Asserting that frustration has cropped up among the militant cadre as they were not expecting announcement of ceasefire by Narendra Modi Government, sources said all out efforts were being made by the militant outfits to sabotage it. However, the State Government has initiated series of steps to ensure that level of violence doesn’t go up during remaining period of the holy month of Ramzan and that ceasefire holds good for the people, which can prompt the Centre to extend it.
“The State is passing through crucial phase. Remaining 13 days of Ramzan are significant. The Government was trying to ensure that vicious circle wherein the new youths were joining militancy is put to an end,’’ top sources said.
Meanwhile, they disclosed that some more local militants have taken advantage of ceasefire and returned home. Their identities have been kept secret and no cases have been registered against them as they were not involved in any kind of violence.
Describing the trend of some local youth giving up militancy and returning to their houses as “very positive’’, sources hoped that more local militants will follow the footsteps of those, who had returned home, to lead the normal life.
Describing ceasefire on borders by India and Pakistan as another historic decision of the Centre, sources said the State Government was quite confident that it would hold just like the peace had prevailed on the borders for seven to eight years after announcement of ceasefire on the borders in 2003 during the regime of Atal Behari Vajpayee.