While Army and security forces have intensified their cordon and search operations (CASOs) in the past few weeks, high alert has been announced in Jammu region as the Darbar, as the state Assembly is known locally, is going to open there on 5 November for winter session. After the sniper attacks in the Valley here, the security grid has decided to have their personnel positioned on all the sensitive places and building tops of sensitive installations after receiving intelligence inputs that a few groups of sniper shooters may have moved to Jammu region. A senior police officer told The Sunday Guardian that they are taking no chances in Jammu, the winter capital of the state, as they have got specific inputs that some of these groups may already have entered the region and would be planning to carry out some “sensational attack” there. After sniper shooters killed a few security men in Kashmir valley recently, all the prominent politicians, including former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, have expressed concern over it and asked the security grid to shift their strategy to repulse such attacks. Giving the details of how they have intensified the offensive against the terrorists in South Kashmir, a senior police officer posted there said in a brief interview to this newspaper that due to this kind of alertness, they were able to neutralise a highly trained Pakistani sniper identified as Usman Hyder. He said that Hyder was involved in several sniper attacks in the Valley in the recent past. He said that in October alone, they have killed more than 30 terrorists, most of whom were prominent in their areas and associated with Hizb, Lashkar and Jaish. He added that they would increase the frequency of CASOs in November which would be based on ground intelligence and would avoid any collateral damage. He also pointed out that despite a lot of provocations from the trouble-makers, they have been successful in avoiding civilian casualties during all recent CASOs, especially at the encounter sites. Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, accompanied by White Knight Corps chief Lt Gen Paramjit Singh, visited forward posts in Nowshera and Poonch sectors after reports of fresh infiltration bids from across the border in these areas trickled in.
Earlier, the Army had received definite reports that many infiltrators were all prepared to cross over to destabilise the Jammu region during the winter months.