This year alone, Indian forces have neutralised over 100 terrorists, according to AK Bhatt

SRINAGAR: The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir is stable but fragile, according to Lt Gen Anil Kumar Bhatt, General Officer Commanding of the Indian Army’s 15 Corps.

“The situation in the valley is stable in most areas but fragile in certain parts,” Bhatt told ET in an exclusive interview, even as sources said the army has upgraded its counter-infiltration system and has been changing its deployment patterns in relation to the concentration of terrorists.

In the years-old conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir, India has foiled several infiltration attempts along the line of control (LoC).

The ceasefire agreement signed between the nuclear-armed neighbours in 2003 has been violated several times, with hundreds of terrorists and civilians being killed in the ensuing skirmishes.

Now, the army faces a new challenge— that of halting local recruitment of terrorists. To curb this, authorities have prohibited large gatherings at funerals—often cited as strong motivators for such recruitment—started counselling services for the youth, and taken initiatives to bring fresh recruits back into the mainstream after approaching their parents.

The Srinagar-based 15 Corps, which Bhatt heads, is tasked with overseeing counter-terrorist operations in Kashmir.

This year alone, Indian forces have neutralised over 100 terrorists, according to Bhatt.

“From January. we’ve foiled more than 10 attempts, which resulted in killing of 36 terrorists. In addition, 12 attempts of infiltration have also been prevented,” he said.

According to sources, in the last five to seven years, the army has not only increased its strength in its counter-infiltration grid along the LoC, but also strengthened its anti-infiltration obstacle system.

The army is trying to make the latter “smarter” by installing day and night cameras and thermal sights, they said. But this has not been without the challenges of terrain and weather. 

While these measures have helped, the army says there has been a decline in the number of foreign terrorists in J&K over the years. Local radicalisation has been growing to pose a new challenge, army said.