Due to the lack of heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of the Kashmir Valley, the Indian Army has continued its deployment of troops on a counter-infiltration grid, as revealed by officials familiar with the matter.
As reported by Indian Express, Intelligence inputs suggest a significant presence of active militants in launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC), exploiting the extended infiltration period.
Typically, heavy snowfall in the Valley hampers movement, reducing both conventional threats and infiltration across the LoC.
The winter strategy usually involves the withdrawal of some troops from the LoC to engage in counter-terrorism operations in the hinterland.
“However, this has not taken place this year and the counter-infiltration posture continues to be as dense as it is in the summers,” an official said.
“Additionally, the snow also adversely affects the logistics of the terrorists whose dependence on the local population increases. For any movement, they stick to the standard roads and tracks, thereby increasing chances of an encounter at any mobile check posts,” the official said.
Also, the absence of significant snowfall has kept trans-Pir Panjal range routes open, necessitating sustained troop deployment on the mountain range to deny access to the Valley from the Poonch-Rajouri belt.
In 2023, a total of 71 militants were killed in Jammu and Kashmir, with 52 fatalities reported in the Valley.
Earlier this month, Army Chief General Manoj Pande had said that the situation in the Valley is getting normal, even as India’s adversaries have been active in abetting terrorism, encouraging militant groups to operate in the Rajouri-Poonch belt.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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