Security forces change tactics, opt for pre-dawn ops in Valley
jkupdate.com | 29-Nov-2018 02:14 PM
  • Villagers gather near the house damaged during the encounter in Budgam on Wednesday.

SRINAGAR: With a focus to minimise civilian protests and casualties that had become a major obstacle in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir, security forces have changed strategy: preferring pre-dawn hours to carry out raids against militants.

The change in tactics — cordoning off militant hideouts during pre-dawn hours and attempting to finish the operation in early morning hours — has come into effect during the past two months as the security forces launched a renewed campaign against militants, sources in the police said.

The latest operation began around 6 am in Budgam district and ended with the killing of two militants, including a senior commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba Naveed Jatt. The Wednesday morning gunfight was the sixth pre-dawn operation launched by security forces within a week and tenth in this month.

The sources said a “tactical decision” had been made to launch “pin-point and intelligence-driven” counter-insurgency raids with a focus to “go in and finish fast” before the civilian population in neighbourhoods and villages surrounding the encounter site gather and disrupt the operation. The change in timing has provided efficient results for the security forces as most ant-militancy operations over the last two months concluded without civilian casualties and minimal disruptions, a drastic change as the security forces over the past few years had to battle militants as well as civilian protesters who were keen on rescuing militants.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir zone, Swayam Prakash Pani, told The Tribune that the security forces were “planning operations in a manner where they can tackle operations and post-operation scenarios in an effective manner”.

The security forces launched a major campaign in early October, marking an end to an unstated halt in counter-insurgency operations that had followed the officially-announced ceasefire during Ramzan in May-June this year. Nearly all counter-insurgency operations since early October have been launched in pre-dawn hours, including the first major encounter in which a high-profile Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Manan Wani, was killed in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.(Courtesy:TNS)

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