Four militants were killed in the Sindhara area of Poonch district in a joint operation conducted by the Indian Army, Rashtriya Rifles, and Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel on Tuesday. The encounter, named “Operation Trinetra II,” began around 11:30 pm on Monday after security forces acted on specific intelligence inputs. Using drones and night surveillance equipment, the forces initially engaged in a gunfight with the militants. This incident follows another operation on Monday when two militants were killed while attempting to infiltrate across the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch.
Unlike the dwindling militant presence in the Kashmir Valley, Jammu has become the new hotspot for militancy. The dense forests have become a haven for militants, making it challenging for security forces to track them down. The reduced presence of security forces in Jammu, resulting from the ceasefire with Pakistan and redeployment to Ladakh, has created a void that militants seem to be exploiting.
While violence escalates in Jammu, the overall situation in Jammu and Kashmir Valley remains relatively stable. The Valley has witnessed a significant decline in the number of militants, primarily due to over 500 militant casualties, most of them local youth over the past four years. However, despite this drop, militants continue to target soft targets, including civilians, minorities, and even security personnel visiting their homes.
This recent surge in violence in Jammu has sparked concerns that it could disrupt the semblance of peace in the union territory, in the process potentially reviving a union territory that has mostly been pacified. While tourism in J&K is flourishing, the persistence of violence in Jammu could deter tourists and impact the overall tranquility in the UT.
The future remains uncertain as we ponder whether the violence in Jammu will escalate further or subside. The past two years have shown a pattern of sudden spikes followed by lulls in militancy activities. While some militants vanished into Pakistan after short-lived escalations in 2021, the situation in Jammu may be more complex, requiring a more comprehensive approach.
Operation Trinetra, a massive search operation, has been launched to track down militants in the region, but progress has been slow. If the violence continues, it suggests that the militants are determined to extend their separatist campaign to Jammu, leading to a wider arc of violence.
As the search operations continue in the region, it is essential to prioritize efforts to build trust between the security forces and the local population. Engaging with the community and addressing their concerns can help foster a more secure and stable environment.
This operation also emphasizes the need for a comprehensive approach towards addressing the overall security situation in J&K. A multi-faceted strategy that combines security measures, development initiatives, and political engagement is necessary to achieve long-term peace in the region.
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