The security apparatus in the Kashmir valley recently held a detailed meeting along with the intelligence agencies to finalise the strategy to contain infiltration expected in the summers. Jammu and Kashmir director general of police SP Vaid told the media that “all must pray for a peaceful summer”, indicating there will be definite terror challenges ahead, and the police and the security forces need to be in vigil to ensure a smooth Amarnath Yatra and in handling civilian protests at encounter sites.

In North Kashmir, three civilians were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Baramulla. One of them was recently released from detention under the Public Safety Act.

At Hajjin in the northwest Bandipora district, two civilians were dragged out of their home on Friday evening and shot dead by suspected militants, police said. In Sopore in North Kashmir, the police said on Friday that suspected militants shot dead a civilian Mohammed Ashraf Mir and critically wounded his wife.

Fear and surge in militancy has crippled normal life in Kashmir with daily doses of night raids, arrests, damage of properties and protests.

On Saturday, police said a SPO was shot dead by suspected militants in Pulwama. There are protests in many parts of South Kashmir as security forces during the previous night raids has arrested dozens of youths on charges of stone-pelting.

Srinagar, which till now was calm, witnessed a gunfight between militants and security forces at Chattabal area of on Saturday morning, triggering massive clashes between the youths and the forces around. These incidents have given hint of how the summer months are going to unfold.

J&K police recently started a public outreach programme in Kashmir, holding meetings with village elders and parents of youths who have joined militancy. The purpose is to persuade the new recruits to return to civilian life. A senior police officer told this reporter: “We are also roping in some psychologists to counsel these youth and their parents. Parental support to violence is the real challenge,” the officer quoted said.

The security grid has to also ensure a safe and smooth Amarnath Yatra during the current summer and additional paramilitary reinforcements would be brought to sanitise the entire route of the yatra.

The Army top brass is bracing up for counter infiltration operations along LoC as Pakistani forces shelled Karna sector few days back and injured many civilians including a woman.

The Army has decided to deploy multi-layer security grid along the LoC in North Kashmir.