The audacious attack launched by the militants on Police lines at Pulwama district on Saturday morning in which eight personals of security forces and three militants were killed is a chilling reminder that the militancy in the valley is escalating in a more powerful and affective manner.
The deadly attack by militants has come amid the ongoing all-out operation launched by the security forces in Valley after Prime minster Narendra Modi gave one month deadline to the security forces for clean-up operation against militants. The attack in Pulwama which is highly infested with the militancy, official sources says is a part of militant’s counter strategy to demoralize the local police in supporting the army and paramilitary forces in anti militancy operations.
“The anti militancy operations prove very successful these days and it all is possible due to strong anti militancy indigenous network. The local police prove very effective in such operations with strong and robust network of sources,” says a senior security official, wishing not to named, because he is not authorize to speak to media. “They want to discourage our boys and intimate them not to join the security forces in anti militancy operations.”
The Pulwama attack is believed to be one of the worst attacks of militants inflicting huge causalities on security forces. The fidayeen attack lasted for over 19 hours after three gunmen stormed into the police lines and took refuge in the residential quarters and killed eight security men before they were eliminated.
The growing number of encounters and the subsequent joining of youth to the militant ranks in valley especially after the killing of Burhan Muzaffer Wani-top militant commander in July last year is opening new challenges for the state and central government on security front.
The youths who pick up gun seem even undeterred of persistent warnings by the security forces and more and more youth join the ranks. The militants, however, have got also involved in harassing the families of local policemen and attacking them.
In March the DGP, SP Vaid issued a strict warning against the militants for harassing the families of cops in South Kashmir.
“If you touch our families, we will not spare yours,” Vaid told militants after reports appeared that the house of police officer was ransacked in Shopian district of South Kashmir on March 7.
As the attacks continued, the DGP again warned the militants of dire consequences last week but militants seem still unfazed and continue to hunt down the policemen especially in South Kashmir.
“Militants have to surrender or die,” Vaid said.
As the attacks on the police forces are increasing, the trend is seriously disturbing the police forces psychologically and even in many areas the police have barred its men to visit their homes.
According to sources, scores of policemen, owing to attacks on them, have resigned from their jobs and many more are contemplating the same.
“I don’t want to be part of any confrontation and get killed. I opted for the job to feed my family but whatever we are witnessing is disturbing. I am thinking that I may resign from the job,” said a recently appointed constable from South Kashmir.
While the officials are planning a complete overhaul in the security modus operandi to minimize the damage inflicted upon them, they believe the militants are attacking those security personnel’s not involved in any anti militancy operations and are easy to target. “In most 0f the cases, we have witnessed the militants have killed or injured all those policemen either manning the traffic on roads or maintaining law and order. Rarely any of our cops was killed in anti militancy operation,” the senior security official said, adding that they are working out on mechanism to counter the trend.