After Pulwama attack, authorities to crack down on terror sympathisers, expedite moving Srinagar jail outside city

New Delhi: In the wake of the terror attack in South Kashmir's Pulwama district, a series of high-level meetings were called to examine issues ranging from comprehensive security around the camps of forces in the Valley to expediting shifting the Srinagar Central Jail to outside the city. After deliberations on the security situation in Kashmir, authorities concluded that moving the jail from downtown Srinagar to the suburbs needs to be accelerated as the prison has turned into a hub where terrorist activities are planned, sources said.

"Last year, some hardcore terrorists were shifted to prisons outside the state. But the jail still has militants who are suspected of planning terror attacks using mobile phones smuggled inside with the help of terror sympathisers. We cannot go on postponing it ad infinitum," the sources said.

After Pulwama attack, authorities to crack down on terror sympathisers, expedite moving Srinagar jail outside city

An army soldier stood guard near the site of suicide bomb attack at Pulwama. PTI

"Using jammers poses a practical problem because the jail is located within the city. Specific threats to camps of security forces in the Valley were also analysed," they said, adding that the meeting took note of a recent threat issued by terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, which has warned of suicide attacks similar to the one carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pulwama.

As far as long-term strategy is concerned, officials deliberated on governance deficit and general administrative lethargy resulting from political instability. Although security forces have been considerably successful in neutralising terrorists in the past couple of months, the Pulwama attack is being perceived as the revival of a foreign terrorist network that is getting logistical support from local residents.

A senior official said they had also discussed the urgent need to counter the terror support system in the Valley, along with measures they could take to enhance the security framework.

"The possibility of utilising the services of militants who have been released and those who have surrendered was also suggested. We will not show any leniency in dealing with financiers and supporters of terror activities. There has been a huge drop in the number of people indulging in stone pelting, and that is a good sign. Now, it is imperative to deliver results on the ground.

"Pakistan-based terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and JeM are using various channels to finance separatists and terrorist activities. Sympathisers of terrorists and separatist should know that the security establishment are closely monitoring them," the official said.

Sources said that in 2017, JeM had carried out six to seven terror attacks in Kashmir, but the figure had significantly risen in 2018. Sources suspect that Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar and his deputy Abdul Rouf Asgar planned the Pulwama attack.

Citing the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) inquiry into the 2016 Nagrota terror attack, sources revealed that JeM, with the help of local commanders, continues to provide training, money, equipment and other logistics to terrorists, including fresh recruits. The NIA investigation had revealed that the JeM deputy chief chalks out a detailed plan, including the modus operandi to be adopted for the infiltration of their men and logistics. Area commanders are trained at the JeM terror training centre at Manshera in Pakistan and provided with hi-tech gadgets to communicate with handlers across the border, the investigation had found.

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Updated Date: Feb 21, 2019 08:38:23 IST

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