SOURCE: THE PRINT
The two terrorists killed in North Kashmir’s Handwara Sunday were the “reception party” for a group of infiltrators from Pakistan, ThePrint has learnt. The Army and central security agencies are now working out how many terrorists have managed to sneak in from across the border.
Sources in the security establishment said that one of the two terrorists was a Pakistani national and the other is likely to be local. While the killed Pakistani terrorist has been identified as LeT commander Haider, he also goes by another name, a high ranking source told ThePrint without giving the name.
Sources said that the two terrorists were the reception party – a term used by agencies to define those who receive the infiltrators and arrange all logistics for them including transport, lodging and food.
They added that based on credible input that a group of five to six terrorists had managed to sneak in from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, security forces had launched an operation Friday to track them down.
Security agencies suspect that after a brief encounter Friday, the group split. The two killed terrorists were traced to a cow shed of a house near the forest. Agencies also suspect that it is the same group of terrorists who killed three CRPF personnel in the attack at Kupwara Monday.
ThePrint had earlier reported that the summer in Kashmir is set to be hot and that the infiltration season has already begun.
Infiltration numbers being worked out
The Army and the central security agencies are working out the inputs and making a consolidated list of possible infiltration that has taken place.
Sources said North Kashmir is heating up this time around and that security forces have stepped up pressure, leading to desperation among terrorists. Usually, terrorists infiltrate and then spread out into South Kashmir.
While central security agencies believe that about 20 terrorists have infiltrated from along the LoC in Kupwara in just April, Army sources said the numbers are just speculative as of now.
Intelligence is being shared and a definite number is yet to be firmed up at the level of the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) of Indian intelligence.
Army sources maintained that while infiltration does take place despite multi-tier security at the LoC due to the terrain and weather, a definite number cannot be reached at.
The Print had reported in December that 114 foreign terrorists had managed to sneak into Kashmir in 2019, 55 of them since 5 August, when the state was divided into two Union Territories. Army sources, however, had then said that according to their assessment, the actual number was much smaller according to their estimates.
Incidentally, as many as 28 terrorists were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in April this year — the highest since August 2019.