Pakistan is desperate to push more suicide attackers across the Line of Control in Kashmir and this is evident from the killing of five Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) fidayeen militants by security forces in the Uri sector of north Kashmir early Monday morning, the police chief of Jammu and Kashmir said.
“They are trying to infiltrate as many suicide attackers to put the security forces on the back foot. It is also an attempt to boost the morale of local militants,” Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of Jammu and Kashmir police, told The Print.
“All the five were on a suicide mission. We have recovered the five bodies.” Vaid said the entire group of militants consisted of Pakistanis, and added that there had been an increase in infiltration attempts since JeM’s 3-ft tall commander Noor Mohammad Tantray was killed in the Valley in late December, which was a major blow to the outfit.
Tantray was the divisional commander of JeM who had kept security forces on their toes in south Kashmir, and was finally killed in an encounter in Samboora in south Kashmir’s Awantipora district. He had masterminded several attacks on security forces.
“The motive was not exactly to take revenge for their commander, but it is a strategy from across the border to engage the security forces so that local militants on ground are active,” Vaid said.
Security forces received a tip-off about the presence and movement of the fidayeen militants, based on which the joint operation involving the state police, Army and CRPF took place.
The killings come a fortnight after five soldiers and three militants were killed when militants stormed a CRPF camp in south Kashmir on New Year’s Eve. The JeM had taken responsibility for the suicide attack.
It also claimed responsibility for an IED blast that killed four policemen in Sopore town on 6 January.
Last week, Army chief General Bipin Rawat spoke about the growing number of attacks, saying ceasefire violations had gone up sharply as India was now directly targeting Pakistani army posts that supported infiltration.
Pakistan said on Monday that four of its soldiers had been killed in the latest firing across the LoC. “All of our ceasefire violations are against Pakistani posts supporting infiltration.
A terrorist is a disposable commodity for Pakistan. Unless the Pakistan Army feels the pain, there will be no change,” Rawat had said Friday.
“They have suffered three or four times more than us. That’s why they keep asking us for a ceasefire. This will come only at one condition: that infiltration comes down.”