On the eve of Independence Day Ghanta Ghar (Bell Tower) in Lal Chowk illuminated with tricolor [Representational Image]
Photo: Aman Farooq/GK
With each passing day, Kashmir has recorded a significant decrease in the number of terrorist incidents and related casualties. For that matter, the month of March recorded only one killing – an intruder shot dead in the Tangdhar area of Kupwara.
This was attributed to a combination of factors including increased security measures and intelligence gathering, targeted counter-terrorism operations by J&K police, security forces and better coordination between them.
Additionally, there have nevertheless been some efforts by the government to improve the situation in Kashmir by promoting economic development and improving infrastructure in the valley, which may help address some of the underlying grievances that have fueled terrorism in the past. This includes investment in roads, bridges and other infrastructure as well as initiatives to boost tourism and create jobs.
There have also been targeted anti-terror operations by police and security forces against terrorist groups operating in Kashmir. These operations have focused on disrupting terrorist networks, targeting high-value targets and seizing weapons and explosives.
Another measure has been the use of technology to improve security. This includes the use of drones and other advanced technologies to monitor Kahmir and detect any terrorist activity.
Overall, these measures have helped reduce terrorist-related violence in Kashmir. It will require sustained efforts and cooperation to achieve lasting peace and stability in the region.
In 2019, the central government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Since then, there have been ongoing efforts to reduce violence and improve the situation in Kashmir. The government has made efforts to bring economic development to the region and improve infrastructure.
In February 2021, a ceasefire was agreed between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control, which is the de facto border between the two countries in Jammu and Kashmir. This has led to a significant reduction in cross-border shelling and shelling, which had been a major source of violence in the region. Since the ceasefire was announced, there have been reports of a decrease in civilian casualties and damage to property along the border.
The government has taken a strong stance against terrorism in Kashmir, including cracking down on individuals and groups believed to be sympathetic to terrorist organisations. This has involved a range of measures, including prosecutions of those suspected of supporting terrorism and increased surveillance and monitoring of individuals and groups believed to be involved in terrorist activities.
The government has also taken steps to prevent the spread of extremist ideology in Kashmir through initiatives such as Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programmes. These programs aim to promote alternative narratives and prevent the radicalization of vulnerable individuals, including young people, who may be susceptible to extremist messages.
In addition, the government has implemented measures to cut off funding to terrorist groups and their sympathizers in Kashmir, such as cracking down on illegal sources of funding and money laundering operations.
The crackdown on terrorist sympathizers is one of several measures taken by the government to address the problem of terrorism in Kashmir. It remains to be seen whether these measures will be effective in achieving lasting peace and stability in the region.
Under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the government has the power to seize properties and assets of individuals and organizations involved in terrorist activities. This includes properties suspected of being used to finance terrorism, such as funds or properties owned by individuals with suspected links to terrorist organisations.
The government has seized properties belonging to separatist leaders in Kashmir who are suspected of having links to terrorist organisations. This has included the seizure of properties owned by leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, a coalition of separatist organizations in the Valley.
The government has also taken measures to prevent terrorists and their sympathizers from misusing property. For example, it has cracked down on the use of mosques and madrasas as centers for radicalization and terrorist training.
Overall, the seizure of properties belonging to terrorists and their sympathizers is one of several measures taken by the government to combat terrorism in Kashmir. While these measures have been effective in disrupting the financing and support of terrorist activities.
The issue of infiltration from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has long been a security concern for India. In recent years, there has been an effort by the security forces to curb infiltration and tighten border security in the region.
One of the most important measures taken by the government to solve this problem is the construction of a fence along the Line of Control (LoC), which separates the two parts of Kashmir. The fence is intended to prevent infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan and is supported by advanced surveillance technologies such as thermal imaging cameras and ground sensors.
Security forces have stepped up efforts to track and apprehend infiltrators, including launching targeted counterinsurgency operations in areas where terrorists are suspected of operating.
These measures have been effective in reducing the number of infiltrations from PoK into Kashmir. According to official statistics, the number of infiltration attempts has dropped significantly in recent years, with fewer successful attempts by terrorists to cross the LoC.
However, the issue of infiltration remains a complex and persistent security challenge as terrorists continue to attempt to cross the LoC using a variety of tactics, including through tunnels and other clandestine means. As such, the security forces continue to be vigilant and take measures to prevent infiltration and maintain security in Kashmir.
A positive development in Kashmir in recent years has been the return of some local youth from the path of violence and terrorism. There have been several initiatives launched by the government, civil society organizations and community leaders to rehabilitate and reintegrate youth involved in violent activities back into mainstream society.
One of the key programs launched by the government was “Operation Maa”, which aims to rehabilitate and bring back youth who have joined terrorist groups. The program offers counseling, training and other support services to help these individuals reintegrate into mainstream society and build productive lives.
There have also been efforts by civil society organizations and community leaders to address the root causes of violence and terrorism in Kashmir, including unemployment, lack of economic opportunity and political grievances. These efforts have included job fairs, skills development programs, and other initiatives aimed at providing youth with opportunities to build productive and fulfilling lives.
These initiatives have been successful in encouraging some local youth to leave the path of violence and terrorism and return to mainstream society.
Further, there has been a significant decline in the recruitment of local youth into terrorist ranks in Kashmir in recent years. This is a positive development and can be attributed to several factors, including government efforts to address the root causes of terrorism, improved border security and a reduction in external support to terrorist groups.
Moreover, the security forces have also stepped up their efforts to prevent terrorist groups from recruiting local youth. This has included targeted counterinsurgency operations and surveillance to track and apprehend terrorists and disrupt their recruitment networks.
Another factor contributing to the decline in local youth recruitment into terrorist ranks is the improved border security. The construction of a fence along the Line of Control and the use of advanced surveillance technologies have made it more difficult for terrorists to cross the border and enter Kashmir.
Finally, there has been a reduction in external support for terrorist groups operating in Kashmir. The international community has become increasingly aware of the dangers of terrorism and has taken measures to cut off funding and support to terrorist groups.
Overall, the decline in recruitment of local youth into terrorist ranks in Kashmir is a positive development.
(The author is a senior staff member at Greater Kashmir)
DISCLAIMER: Views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective presented in the article do not reflect the views of GK.