NEW DELHI: Security forces and intelligence agencies fear a spike in violence following abrogation of provisions of Article 370 that accord special status to J&K. “There will not be an immediate reaction to the situation, but violence and terrorist activities will rise in the coming days. Eventually the attempts will decline,” said a senior Army officer.
Intelligence reports suggest terror groups may use suicide bombing and IEDs to cause maximum damage. “Militants will make desperate attempts for some time and will attempt to lure the youth with their propaganda. But security forces are prepared to tackle the situation,” said a senior security official. Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba is likely to visit J&K to take stock of the security situation.
Ajai Sahni of the Institute of Conflict Management, an expert on counter-terror, said there would not be any explosion of militancy. “There is every chance there will be a reaction but it cannot be sustained. The militant groups do not have the required power to launch sustained attacks. There will be incidents though, but India has been effectively tackling militant groups so far, and they will do the same in the future,” he added.
The forces are also prepared for an increase in Pakistani regular troops on the LoC. “Pakistan is expected to shift its troops from their Afghanistan border towards the Indian side,” said an Army officer. The Indian Army has not brought in any extra troops, but it will be on standby to support about 45,000 extra paramilitary forces brought to Kashmir. “We will conduct only anti-terror operations,” Army sources said.
The government, having anticipated turmoil in the Valley, had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in parts of J&K, including Srinagar as a precautionary measure. Mobile, internet and landline services were suspended from Sunday night.