THE JAMMU-SRINAGAR national highway is 300 km long. But it is the 35-km stretch between Bijbehera town to Pampore in South Kashmir that is turning out to be a headache for security forces. In the past seven months, militants have targeted forces on more than six occasions on this segment, resulting in more than a dozen casualties.
The latest attack on Saturday left eight CRPF personnel dead and 22 injured, with Lashkar-e-Toiba claiming responsibility for the attack.
According to a senior police officer, despite several attacks since December 2015 (see box, page 2), there has been little increase in deployment of forces on this vulnerable stretch close to Srinagar. Saturday’s attack has, however, come as a wake-up call, forcing top security officers to conduct reviews.On Monday, as many as 29 security vehicles were deployed between Pampore and Bijbehera, some of them armoured. Road Opening Party (ROP) units — comprising both CRPF and army personnel — also kept watch from vintage points(INDIAN EXPRESS,2016).