Militant attacks to instill fear among voters? Army chief to visit J-K today

Army jawans

New Delhi, Dec 6: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to campaign for the third phase of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the multiple attacks in the same region going to polls on December 9, are seen as an attempt by militants to instill fear among the voters.

According to reports, 21 people, including 11 security men, were killed in a string of militant strikes in Kashmir on Friday.

An intelligence official told a news daily: “Desperate after the record 72% turnout in the first two phases of polling in the state, groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen are under pressure to discourage voters from defying boycott calls by coming out to vote in large numbers.”

The senior intelligence official reportedly apprehending more attacks in the next few days with a view to sapping voter enthusiasm and pushing down future poll percentages.

The attacks in Uri, Shopian as well as Srinagar reportedly came despite prior intelligence about the build-up of potential infiltrators across the border in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

A senior officer of the security establishment told the news daily: “The infiltration attempts had picked up pace in the last one month or so, possibly with a view to disrupting the November-December polls. The storming of the Mahura camp in Uri was possibly by terrorists waiting at launch pads just across the border in PoK.”

One EC official also reportedly said the targetting of Army camp at Uri was unexpected.

Army chief Dalbir Singh will visit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday to take stock of the security situation after terror attacks which claimed the lives of 11 security personnel including a Lt Colonel. The Army personnel also killed a top commander of Pakistan-based terror outfit LeT and seven militants.

This would be Army chief’s third visit to militancy-hit state in less than two weeks.

He will be briefed by the Army top brass in the Northern Command about Friday’s situation as well as security scenario in the state.

Earlier on Friday, Chief of Army Staff met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to brief him on the recent terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

General Suhag reportedly briefed PM Modi about the ongoing situation and the army’s preparedness for similar challenges ahead.

The army chief’s meeting with the Prime Minister assumes significance as the latter is scheduled to address a rally in Srinagar on December 8.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju termed the attacks an attempt to destabilise the democratic process.

(With Agency Inputs)


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