Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are the new threat to Jammu and Kashmir, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) director general Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar told.
“Now IEDs are back in J&K. IEDs are the new threat. Last year there were very few IED incidents, but now they have reappeared,” said the CRPF DG.
He said the force is looking towards intelligence-based operations and better coordination between agencies in light of fresh developments in the state.
The CRPF is looking at employing latest technologies such as better night vision devices, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, house intervention vehicles and thermal sights for its guns.
These will not only ensure more successes in operations against terrorists but also to provide better protection to troops. The force is also strengthening its bomb disposal teams in J&K in view of the new threat.
The CRPF also says that security plans for Amarnath Yatra which begins on June 28 has been made although there are fears of terrorists looking at a ‘big hit’ during this period.
This year, there have already been six IED incidents in Kashmir, including four blasts and two instances wherein the devices were detected, said Bhatnagar.
Sources added that last year there was only one IED incident. Other CRPF officers also said IEDs are a major challenge now.
Out of the four blasts, three took place during the monthlong suspension of security operations for Ramzan. On May 28, three Army personnel were injured after terrorists triggered an IED blast targetting their Casspir vehicle.
“In J&K, IEDs are only of two to five kg. These are quite small when compared to the IEDs found in the Maoist-affected areas, where they at least weigh 20 to 40 kg. It appears that the terrorists in J&K are currently experimenting with such devices,” said an officer.
Bhatnagar explained that the CRPF has adequate equipment to deal with IEDs. “We have been dealing with IEDs for quite some time, because we encounter a lot of them in the Maoist- affected areas. We even have a school of IED Management in Pune,” he said.
Sources said, “The CRPF has increased the capabilities of its Bomb Detection and Disposal Teams. This was done in view of the IED threat in J&K.”