June 2, 2022 11:16 pm

Govt Forces Step Up Vigil in Kashmir After Spurt In Attacks

Forces personnel frisking a biker in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk in the capital city of Srinagar on Thursday: KO Photo, Abid Bhat

Srinagar- The government forces on Thursday beefed up security measures in this capital city and elsewhere amid a fresh cycle of killings, mostly of government employees by militants, causing widespread outrage and condemnation from political parties.

According to officials, the police and paramilitary forces heightened security measures in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley, especially South Kashmir districts to keep a check on the activities of militants.

The intense security measures come in the aftermath of recent killings of government employees.

Here in Srinagar, CRPF and policemen carried out random searches and subjected people to identification checks. At many places here, the specially trained Special Operations Group (SOG) personnel carried out search operations.

A police official told Kashmir Observer that security has been enhanced and searches have been intensified across Kashmir, especially where the minorities are residing.

The official said in the last few weeks multiple security review meetings have been held and the number of security forces deployed around key installations, in the wake of the attacks.

He said both the J&K Police and the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have deployed in sensitive areas to prevent any further attacks.

An official from CRPF told Kashmir Observer that additional forces have been called in to deal with the current situation.

“We are expecting more deployment after the Home Ministers’ meeting,” he said.

The valley is witnessing a spate of target killings , at least 17 persons including police officials, teachers and sarpanches, were killed in targeted attacks since January this year.

On Thursday, a bank manager from Rajasthan was shot dead by militants in Kulgam in the second targeted attack on Hindus in the Valley in three days.

The attack comes just two days after a Hindu teacher from Jammu, Rajni Bala, was killed by suspected militants outside a school in Kulgam.

Notably, Kashmiri pandits are protesting in Srinagar, Budgam and other parts of the Valley following the killing of Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit, who was shot dead inside the magistrate’s office in Budgam last month.

The pandits have been demanding that they be relocated to safer areas. Since the last two days, a number of videos have gone viral on social media showing the pandits leaving the valley.

About 4,000 Kashmir Pandits employed in the Valley under a Prime Minister’s rehabilitation package have threatened mass migration as they no longer feel safe.

Sources told Kashmir Observer that the administration has put up barricades and locked gates to transit camps to stop them.

According to reports, the entire security establishment is on its toes after it came to the forefront that there is a rise in recruitment of militants and missing local youth from Kashmir Valley.

According to reports, the recruitment number stood at around 50 in the first five months of 2022. Meanwhile, in the last one month alone, more than three dozen youngsters have gone missing.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed