7 counter-terror officers in J&K on terrorists’ radar

Seven officers of Jammu & Kashmir’s elite anti-terror Special Operations Group (SOG) and Special Police Officers (SPOs) are on the radar of a new terror outfit in the valley, intelligence agencies have warned the security establishment.

The agencies stated that they have gathered inputs that a new terror outfit named Kashmir Liberation Warriors which had posted a threat letter about Jammu & Kashmir Police on Telegram app titled ‘Shaheed Naikoo Media Group’ last month.

“The group has warned officials working in Special Operations Group and Special Police Officers against providing information about terrorists and creating problems in the ‘fight against India’,” an intelligence agency has flagged.

The terror group has also posted names and details of seven officers and the types of vehicles they own, the agency stated.

Agencies have also flagged that the group has also warned non-Kashmiris against purchase of land in the valley.

“They also threatened to kill the locals selling land to outsiders,” the agency said.

Last year in October, the Union government had paved the way for non-residents of Jammu & Kashmir to purchase land in the valley by amending several laws a year after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Indian citizens can now purchase land in Jammu & Kashmir without any domicile certificate. However, citizens are not yet allowed to buy agricultural land. The Centre has removed “being a permanent resident of the state” as a precondition for buying land in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

As part of counter-terror operations in the valley, last year 221 terrorists were killed. In 2019, a total of 153 terrorists were killed. In 2018, the tally was at 215 and in 2017, a total of 213 terrorists were gunned down.

Also there is an increase in recruitment of local terrorists in the valley. Last year, 166 locals joined terror groups. In 2019, 119 locals had joined terror outfits and in 2018 a total of 219 locals took up arms.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at sumit.k@ians.in)