Recovery of dumps of arms and ammunition on the Indian side along the international border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab and also the Line of Control (LoC) has come as an alarm signal for the security forces amid reports of ISI creating a strong nexus between Sikh and Kashmiri terrorist leaders hiding in Pakistan.
There were reports that Pakistan was planning to escalate terrorism in J&K and revive it in Punjab by creating a nexus between Sikh and Kashmiri militants in Pakistan.
There were reports that Ranjeet Singh alias Neeta, Pakistan-based chief of Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) enjoys considerable support of Kashmiri terrorists. Neeta, who belongs to Jammu, along with some ISI officials, played a major role in working out a nexus among various Sikh and Kashmiri terror groups.
Neeta, against whom cases were registered in Jammu, Punjab and Mumbai for fabricating bombs and exploding these in public places, had developed contacts for transporting arms.
Twelve other Sikh terrorists had taken refuge in Pakistan and were being looked after by the ISI. Neeta and two other terrorists, Manjit Singh of Khalistan Zindabad Force and Ravinder Singh @ Pinka, belong to Jammu and were reportedly in touch with Kashmiri terrorists. Ravinder Singh of Nanak Nagar in Jammu is accused of hijacking IAC flight IC 405 from Srinagar to Lahore on 5 July 1984.
While the J&K Police is well trained in handling terror attacks and has a well established intelligence network against terrorists, such system was now lacking in Punjab where the Police had earlier wiped out terrorism and revived peace. There was a need to upgrade the Punjab police with expertise to bust terror modules that were trying to regroup with active support of Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI.
Punjab had to seek help of J&K Police in 2015 to neutralise the terrorists during the attack in Dinanagar near Pathankot where the Punjab police personnel were seen engaged in the encounter without bulletproof jackets and firing with obsolete weapons. The day-long encounter culminated shortly before sunset only when the J&K Police joined the operation with its bulletproof mobile bunkers and sophisticated weapons.
What is worrying for security agencies was the recovery of US-made M4 assault rifles and Chinese grenades in the caches of arms and ammunition recovered in the two neighbouring states that share border with Pakistan.
AK-47 and AK-56 rifles were also recovered but smuggling of the US M-4 rifle was gradually increasing. The M4 is considered an accurate rifle and was being used by the US Army, police said.
J&K DGP Dilbag Singh said a couple of attempts of terrorists to smuggle arms and ammunition to Kashmir from Punjab were recently foiled at Kathua and the Ban toll plaza near Nagrota. The NIA was probing these cases.