How Srinagar is coming under terror radar

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NEW DELHI: The recent spate of grenade blasts in Srinagar have raised concerns in the security establishment which believes that the focus of terrorists is shifting from South Kashmir to the relatively peaceful state capital in Central Kashmir.

Officials who are observing these developments added that such attacks are likely to continue and could increase in the run up to Republic Day and the general elections later this year.

Besides Srinagar, terrorists could also target the Jammu region, where a large cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from several hideouts last year.

A reason for such attacks taking place could be that terrorist organisations see these areas, especially Srinagar as a means of getting more publicity. Officials explained that terrorists usually get more traction in urban areas as compared to attacks in rural areas.

The recent grenade blasts in Srinagar has also raised eyebrows in the security establishment, because attacks of this magnitude have not taken place in the area in recent times.

Also, it is certain districts in South Kashmir such as Pulwama, Anantnag and Shopian that are the hotbed of terrorist activities as compared to Central Kashmir. However, security forces have not only strengthened their intelligence network, but also beefed up security arrangements in light of Republic Day.

In Srinagar, one of the most recent attacks was terrorists lobbing a grenade at Central Reserve Police Force bunker in Lal Chowk on Friday. Merely a couple of hours before this incident, terrorists had hurled a grenade on police personnel at Zero Bridge in the city. Such incidents are likely to raise alarm bells because of the densely populated pockets here.

Terrorist organisations will also attempt to mobilise youth to disrupt operations, raising the possibility of collateral damage. Officials added that terrorists could attempt to carry out grenade attacks on security forces’ camps, convoys, suicide attacks and targeting local politicians to prevent them from taking part in the electoral process.

Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh earlier this week said that the number of terrorists killed in 2018 was the highest in the last 10 years.





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