New Delhi: Twelve civilians and eight security personnel were injured in two separate grenade attacks in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.
While unidentified terrorists hurled a grenade at a police party in Shopian district, leaving 12 civilians and four police personnel injured, a stone-pelting crowd threw another at Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Pulwama, injuring four soldiers.
This is the 11th grenade attack in four days, according to security forces. It comes close on the heels of two Border Security Force (BSF) personnel being killed and 12 villagers being injured during a violation of ceasefire on 1 June in Jammu’s Akhnoor sector. It also follows the death on 2 June of a civilian who was hit by a fleeing CRPF vehicle in Kashmir’s Nowhatta area a day earlier, when stone-pelters attacked the vehicle.
Intelligence experts have labelled these as a failure of not just the ceasefire that the India and Pakistan Directors General of Military Operations (DGMO) had agreed upon last week, but also of the suspension of security operations for Ramzan ordered by the Union home ministry last month.
The BSF and Pakistan Rangers held a meeting on Monday and agreed to maintain peace along the border.
“The instruction of the centre to observe peace has only bolstered the Hurriyat and the stone-pelters in Kashmir. Though the centre’s intention was good, it does not carry any weight for the Kashmiri youth who are only out to create trouble at the behest of the separatists. The message from the centre only boosted the morale of the stone-pelters," said an intelligence expert, seeking anonymity.
The official quoted above also added that the firing along the International Border (IB) at Akhnoor was a signal that Pakistan had little or no intention of observing the 2003 ceasefire agreement.
Defence experts stated that though the centre’s order for Kashmir came with a caveat that permitted security forces to retaliate if attacked, it was not a move that was designed to keep terrorists at bay.
“The terrorists were never in agreement with the centre’s move to keep the peace during Ramzan. It was done in the interest of the people of Kashmir and not the terrorists. The terrorists want such measures to fail and they will do whatever it takes to derail the peace process," said Lt General (retd) H.S. Panag, former Indian Army official and defence expert.