Forces on hot pursuit in Kashmir, terrorists shift focus to Jammu region

In a major strike on June 9, a bus carrying pilgrims was attacked in Reasi district, resulting in nine deaths.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.(Photo | Express)

SRINAGAR: Facing tough action from security forces in the Valley, militants have been trying to shift their terror activities from Kashmir to the Jammu region, police officials said.

The militants have struck in six out of 10 districts of Jammu region in the last one-and-a-half months, resulting in 15 deaths. In a major strike on June 9, a bus carrying pilgrims was attacked in Reasi district, resulting in nine deaths.

According to the police, the attack poses a major security challenge as it happened in a region where militancy has had a relatively small imprint. The last time terrorists struck in the region was in May 2022, when a bomb attack killed four Vaishno Devi pilgrims and injured more than 20.

“Militants are attempting to spread an arc of violence in the Jammu region beyond the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch,” said former Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid.

The Jammu region, south of Pir Panjal range, has dense forest areas and militants use caves in the mountain ridges as hideouts. “Since militants are on the run in the Valley due to operations by security forces, they are desperately trying to shift their activities to Jammu region,” said a police officer.

Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police RR Swain said Pakistan is pushing its own men to disturb peace in Jammu region if they cannot cause disturbances in the Valley.

“There is a long and difficult terrain and they (Pakistan) are using it to push foreign militants to disturb peace in Jammu and Kashmir. This is a major security challenge,” Swain said.

“We are planning our response to counter these threats. We are mapping our resources to give a befitting reply to it. We will defeat militants the way we did it from 1995-2005, when they were active in the Jammu region,” the DGP said.

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