NEW DELHI: The telecom restrictions in Kashmir are also having the unintended effect of hobbling the efforts of security forces to gather intelligence inputs about terrorists.
“Intelligence inputs have dried up by up to 70 percent because of the telecommunication restrictions,” said a senior Army officer. This is also affecting operations against the terrorists, he added. “Three operations were unsuccessful as they could not zero in on the terrorists even after having some inputs,” he said.
Neither are sources able to pass on inputs as they cannot use phones nor is the Army able to get in touch with them, said the officer. Thus technical and signals intelligence have also come down significantly, he said, adding that terrorists are also not able to communicate among themselves.
Meanwhile, terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen has put up posters issuing a warning to locals in areas of South Kashmir.
The posters have warned locals to “open shops only between 6 am and 9 am and again between 6 pm and 9 pm and keep the market closed the rest of the time." People have also been warned not to use vehicles as the group “has details of the vehicles which are plying even after the warning.”
In addition, the terror group issued a warning to ‘informers' and asked people “not to visit police stations even if they are called by the police."
The group also warned locals to shut down all schools and asked women and girls not to move on the roads. “We are very close to independence. Extend us your support and those who don't will themselves be responsible,” said the poster.
The army officer added that terrorists are continuously trying to infiltrate and this increased after August 5 when the government made changes to Article 370. “Two infiltration bids have been successful and we are carrying out operations round the clock," added the officer.