Jammu is witnessing a spike in militant activities, with a two-fold increase in the arrest of ‘overground workers’ (OGWs) and killing of militants last year. Officials in the J&K security establishment attributed this to renewed attempts to put Jammu back on the militancy grid, and greater offensive on the Line of Control after the scrapping of Article 370.
According to police data with ThePrint, the Jammu and Kashmir police arrested 25 individuals accused of serving as OGWs to various militant outfits, in 2020. This was over double the figure each year between 2015 and 2019, when not more than a dozen OGWs were arrested across Jammu.
Sources in the security establishment said the arrest of confirmed OGWs establishes the reach and spread of militant outfits.
The OGWs provide militants logistical support within the erstwhile state and also act as couriers of arms and messages. They are also tasked to establish bases, which not only aid militants to mark their presence in multiple locations but also serve as transit areas for incoming infiltrators or Pakistani militants, said the sources.
In 2020, these militants activated some of the older routes used for infiltration into Jammu, multiple security officials told ThePrint.
Moreover, a total of 13 encounters took place in Jammu last year, killing 18 militants, including foreigners. In 2015, this number was at 20, after which it dropped to 13,7,16, and nine in the following years until 2019, respectively.