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What is guerrilla warfare that security forces witnessing first time in Kashmir?

What is guerrilla warfare that security forces witnessing first time in Kashmir?

To suppress militants in Jammu and Kashmir, the security forces and intelligence agencies have to do a lot of strategies. Social media played a key role in the rise of local terrorists like Burhan Wani, but militancy in Kashmir has now entered a “secret and dangerous” phase, which has left the security establishment very concerned.

A senior police officer in Jammu and Kashmir told The Indian Express that for the first time in three decades, we are witnessing guerrilla warfare in the real sense. They say we have about 200 terrorists listed in our records, who declared their affiliation with those organizations and then went underground. But now there are signs that the number of young people getting guns is much higher.

Guerrilla warfare Kashmir, Photo credit: Flickr

Agencies worried about new trend

Since the 1980s, local militants have always figured in police records. Many of the militants posted photos of weapons on social media, a trend that is growing among young people. However, because of this, it was also very easy for the security agencies to get to them.

But now officials say they “don’t even know each other” when it comes to new militants. An officer stationed in South Kashmir said: “There are only six registered terrorists in our district, but the data we have received from sources puts the figure at more than 50. Who these people are, we do not know. We are constantly trying to get into their inner circle, but it’s not easy.”

An officer stationed in South Kashmir said: “There are only six registered terrorists in our district, but the data we have received from sources puts the figure at more than 50. Who these people are, we do not know. We are constantly trying to get into their inner circle, but it’s not easy.”

To illustrate his point, the military man referred to the famous 1966 film “The Battle of Algiers” about the Algerian rebels’ “secret war” against France.

Identity covert attacks in Kashmir

He said: “recently when we questioned a young man, it was discovered that he had distributed five pistols. When we asked him about the identity of the people he had given the gun to, he couldn’t say. His handler asked him to stop at a particular spot and pick up a gun with his red arm.

According to officials, this new phenomenon is more prevalent in South Kashmir, but its footprint is visible in the Valley, especially in Srinagar. They attribute this “change” to the main reason behind the recent attacks on police and migrant workers. So far this year there have been more than 20 such attacks.

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Guerrilla warfare trend in Kashmir, Photo credit: Flickr

Police sources also say that “these young people are technically sound” and have been able to evade security radars due to “their secure communication network with handlers” through the Line of Control.

A senior SP officer in South Kashmir said that the police are now afraid of losing control to terrorist organizations through informers and spies and are unable to obtain information. They lack a command structure. Now there is no command force and this makes it dangerous. The separatist leaders are in jail and those outside have no access. Now we are fighting against an invisible enemy.

What is guerrilla warfare?

Guerrilla warfare is waged by civilians who are not members of a traditional military unit, such as a nation’s standing army or police. In many cases, guerrilla fighters fight to overthrow or weaken a ruling government or regime.

In short, guerrilla warfare, which translates as “small war”, is a non-traditional form of battle. It uses small group stratagems, such as hit-and-run tactics, to fight against a larger, more traditional military force. Guerrilla warfare also uses soldiers who appear to be non-combatants, as well as militia-type forces.

Guerrilla warfare trend in Kashmir, Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

This type of warfare is characterized by sabotage, ambushes, and surprise attacks against unsuspecting military targets and taking advantage of their familiarity with the local landscape and terrain.

The word guerrilla means “little war”. The term was first documented during one of the Napoleonic Wars (the Peninsular War of 1808-1814) when the British recruited Spanish and Portuguese guerrillas to help them drive the French out of the Iberian Peninsula.

A variety of other words mean more or less the same as a guerrilla, including rebel, insurgent, irregular, and partisan.

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