NEW DELHI : Cross-border infiltration along the Line of Control has increased by almost 50% since the provisions of Article 370 were abrogated on 5 August and Kashmir was put under a lockdown, Union minister of state for home affairs, G. Kishan Reddy, told Parliament on Tuesday.

Reddy’s statement comes just two days after Border Security Force (BSF) director general V.K. Johri flagged increased drone activity along the India-Pakistan international border, even as the Indian Army marked out infiltration routes being used by militant groups, particularly the Jaish-e-Mohammed, following the terror group’s attempts at reactivating camps in Balakot, Pakistan.

Terrorist infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir had spiked since 5 August, while incidents of “terrorist violence have declined since 5 August", Reddy said in a written response to the Lok Sabha. As many as 88 incidents of terror violence had been reported between 5 August and 27 November, as compared to 106 such incidents between 12 April and 4 August.

There had been 84 attempts at infiltration from across the border between 5 August and 31 October, compared to 53 attempts between 9 May and 4 August, the minister said.

“Pursuant to the government’s policy of zero tolerance to terrorism, the security forces are taking proactive action against terrorists. Security agencies continue to receive inputs about the intention of terror outfits, which are supported and sponsored from across the border, to indulge in terror attacks and breach of security in Jammu and Kashmir," Reddy informed the Lower House.

“Based on these inputs and past history of cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, all precautions and preventive steps, including cordon and search operations, are being undertaken by the security forces in a proactive manner to flush out terrorists, and 157 terrorists have been neutralised in 2019 so far," he added.

India’s security grid has mounted “concerted efforts for launching operations against the residual terrorists", according to the ministry.

Quick on the heels of Kashmir being placed under a lockdown, security forces tracked down possible infiltration routes of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, with intelligence inputs indicating that the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed were using Kharameru (in Pakistan) as their launch pad since 23 August, and the possible infiltration route to the Indian territory had been chalked out via Kharameru and Kazinag to Manabal and Kupwara.

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