SRINAGAR: All security parameters in Jammu and Kashmir have improved this year, but there is a need to be alert due to indications of heightened activity in terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC) in the last two months, top security officials in the Union Territory said here on Tuesday.
They were participating in a review meeting of the Core Group on security in Jammu and Kashmir, comprising top officials of civil administration, intelligence agencies and security forces, held at Badami Bagh Cantonment here.
The meeting was co-chaired by the General Officer Commanding of the Army's Chinar Corps, Lt Gen D P Pandey, and Director General of Police Jammu and Kashmir Dilbag Singh.
During the meeting, the officials shared inputs about the LoC and hinterland security situation.
The officials stated that the ceasefire with Pakistan has improved the security situation along the border, but intelligence inputs on terrorist launch pads and terrorist training activities in Pakistan indicate the need to be alert along the LoC.
There are indications of heightened activity in the last two months.
The cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons continues to be the focus of the intelligence agencies and security forces.
This included continued vigil and checks on all passes leading to Kashmir valley, they said.
The top security officials said the review of the first six months of the year shows an improvement in all security parameters.
"There is a joint security forces effort to target the OGW (over-ground workers) network that sustains terrorism and a focused effort by the police has led to the apprehension of nearly 400 such persons," they said.
Referring to the local youths joining militant ranks, the officials said while the recruitment has been lower than the previous years, it continues to be a focus area for the security and intelligence agencies.
The effort is to engage with the vulnerable youth and target the OGW network engaged in the recruitment process.
The recruitment is higher in some pockets where synergised counter actions are being executed, they added.
The officials said there is a continued focus on the vehicles of dubious antecedents as they are used for transportation of arms and contraband and also can be used for vehicle-based IEDs.
The efforts of some 'tanzeems' (militant outfits) to use a variety of IEDs are being proactively countered.
Reports of encroachments along the national highway are being checked as these can cause a security threat to the convoy movement on the highways, they said.
The officials also discussed the issue of criminal acts being "done under the garb of a terrorist attack" and the need to differentiate between a terror attack and a criminal attack.
"The shift of terrorist's modus operandi in targeting soft targets and counter-measures were also discussed," they said.
The security officials also deliberated on the "propaganda effort" by Pakistan and their "antagonistic information warfare tactics".
"Sadly, these efforts include propaganda to legitimise the killing of Kashmiri civilians by the terrorists. The use of social media to spread disinformation is widespread and needs to be countered proactively by a joint effort," they said.
The DGP and the Corps Commander commended the officials on the improved security indicators and a special mention was made on the measures taken to minimise collateral damage in the operations despite the risk to soldiers, the officials said.
"They called upon all to continue efforts at better intelligence, better preventive security measures and effective intelligence-based counter-terror operations. They called for continued efforts along with the civil society to counter the separatist propaganda and break the cycle of violence for long-term peace in Kashmir," an official said.
During the meeting, the core group also discussed the "satisfactory" handling of COVID-19 in Kashmir.
"It was appreciated that how the national and the state civil departments along with the security forces worked as a joint team and kept the pandemic under control when compared to the other parts of India during the peak of the second wave," the official said.
A brief stock of preparedness for the likely third wave was also taken.
The Divisional Commissioner shared details of development activities underway and the efforts to energise and operationalise the grassroots democratic structure, the officials said.
He shared the plans for engaging youngsters which included setting up youth centers in all districts and to panchayat level, they added.