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J&K faces terror threats ahead of polls, says army

April 04, 2009 21:21 IST
Amidst reports that 400 trained terrorists were waiting to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir to disrupt the coming Lok Sabha polls, the government has ordered stepping up of security in the border state to thwart any attempts to cause violence ahead of the elections.

After a visit by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh to meet top state officials this week, the order for heightened vigil was issued, army sources said in New Delhi on Saturday.

"There are intelligence inputs that 400 trained terrorists of Lashkar-e-Tayiba are waiting to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir to disrupt the polls. We have stepped up our alertness to prevent both infiltration and attacks," the sources said.

Security was also increased for political leaders campaigning in the border state in view of the threat, the sources added.

There were 40 to 50 terror camps still functioning inside Pakistan-held territory in Kashmir, the sources also said. The sophisticated training of the terrorists came to light during the recent Hafrauda forest encounter in Kupwara -- the first infiltration attempt this year -- that was sustained by them for nearly a week.

Considering the possibility of the terrorists infiltrating into Jammu and Kashmir with the onset of summer and the snow melting in the mountainous terrain of the border state, the security forces have put in place a three-tier security apparatus, the sources said.

The army expects infiltration attempts to go up as the terror groups would increase efforts to disrupt the elections.

"During the last year's assembly polls, the terror groups failed to make an impact on the poll and militancy was kept under control during the security forces' vigil. After that failure, the terrorists are now desperate," the sources added.

Just a fortnight ago, army chief Deepak Kapoor had pointed out that LeT was still active in Pakistan, despite Islamabad's claims of a crack-down against it.

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