The Pakistani ISI created Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror outfit has given a dangerous twist to terrorism in the hinterland of Kashmir valley by indulging in fatal sniper attacks that have claimed lives of at least three Army soldiers and security personnel during the past one week.
JeM terrorists having reportedly been provided with a binocular and night vision device fitted sniper rifles by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan has rung alarm bells among the echelons of security agencies. The sniper attacks have come amidst the security forces securing domination in South Kashmir.
A sniper rifle is a high-precision rifle designed for high hit efficiency from a long range.
Pictures of terrorists being trained in handling the sniper guns in a training camp in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) had surfaced some time ago but the guns, capable of causing fatalities from a long range have reportedly come in use by terrorists during the past few days. Sniper guns were till recently being used by the Pakistan army and Rangers to target Indian Army and BSF soldiers on the Line of Control (LOC) and the international border of J&K respectively.
The arrival of sniper rifles in the valley is also being seen as a security threat for VIPs. Sources said that the JeM was using sniper guns to inflict casualties on security forces from a long distance without getting exposed. Inspector General of BSF, Ramavtar, said that the sniper gun has the capacity to target any subject from a distance of 1 km or more.
An officer of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Rajendera Prasad, was on Saturday shot by terrorists at a power grid station on the outskirts of Srinagar in a sniper attack for which the JeM claimed responsibility. An Army jawan, Ngamsiamliana lost his life on Thursday as a sniper shot hit him in his head at an Army camp in Luragam (Tral of South Kashmir) by terrorists. An SSB jawan was killed when terrorists attacked a CRPF camp in Pulwama with a sniper gun on October 21.
Reports pointed out that the IGP of Kashmir, SP Pani, has suggested that the height of the compound walls of Army and security forces’ camps is increased to deny a clear line of sight to the sniping terrorists.
Expressing concern over the sniper attacks, former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, “First time in 3 decades long story of militancy in Kashmir we now have to contend with snipers taking out targets from long distance & deadly accuracy”. “We have dealt with snipers on the border/LoC regularly & have SOPs to deal with those but never in the hinterland. This will force a rethink of all manner of security & protection procedures,” he added.