An increase in infiltration across LoC after a brief lull (post-Balakot airstrike) suggests the New Year may not bring a lot of cheer. As per reports, 55 terrorists have crossed LOC after 5 August and 114 in total the year. After the abrogation of Article 370 on 5 August, the entire focus of security forces has been shifted to controlling law and order at the cost of suspension of counter-militancy operations for a considerable period. Statistics show that only 155 terrorists have been killed the year in comparison with 246 in 2018. Of all the militants killed this year, 120 were killed before 5 August. The terrorists recruitment does not seem to be a very big concern. The Jammu and Kashmir police are claiming that there is no surge in recruitments since 5 August especially when the state is under social media blackout. Even the senior security officers are of the opinion that terrorist are waiting in small groups across the borders to cross over to this side. The indicators are that coming summers are going to be a bit hotter. Last February it was pellet guns and the civilian casualty which remained widely debated, where the death toll which began on July 8, 2016 after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, had crossed over 100. Even at that time CRPF had informed the Jammu and Kashmir High Court if pellet guns are banned as a crowd control measure, its personnel will be forced to fire bullets in extreme situations, which can cause more fatalities. Down side of the story is that over thousands of men from security agencies were injured during the years of stone-pelting (2016-17) period and there has been no hue and cry over the casualties. Para-military or the police force which is the primary mob controlling agencies should be given a free hand in controlling violence and not succumbs to public frenzy which most of the time defies the logic. If the public wants lesser casualty then the people should also understand that they have no right in resorting to protests or stone-pelting against the forces and damaging properties. The politically driven crowd frenzy encourages people to defy the law as they know that a situation like this surely get them some monetary benefits. The summer in Valley could be more disturbing if the prevailing conditions are any indicators.
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