Saturday, Sep 24, 2022

Security Forces Reworking Standard Operating Procedure Over 'Sticky Bomb' Concerns Before Amarnath Yatra

Recently a drone flying in from Pakistan was spotted in Kathua. Later, seven sticky bombs were recovered from the area.

File photo of pilgrims on Amarnath Yatra. File Photo

The security forces in Jammu and Kashmir are reworking their standard operating procedures (SOPs) ahead of the Amarnath Yatra as they are concerned about 'sticky bombs' that evidence suggests may have found their way to terror groups in Kashmir.

Sticky bombs are explosives that can be attached to vehicles and detonated remotely. Sticky bombs first emerged in Kashmir in February 2021 when these were recovered from Samba in Jammu region, indicating initiation of a new phase of terrorism in the union territory.

The security agencies now believe that terror groups in Kashmir might have them on the basis of interrogation of arrested terrorists and their sympathisers and other evidence with them. 

Recently a drone flying in from Pakistan developed a technical snag and was spotted by people in Kathua. Later, the police recovered arms and ammunition, including seven sticky bombs in Kathua.

Around 3 lakh pilgrims are likely to take part in the pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine located in the upper reaches of southern Kashmir. It is expected to end on August 11.

It has been decided that vehicles of pilgrims as well as of security forces will be secluded during their movement, the officials said. Instructions have also been issued to the security forces as well as those managing the pilgrimage not to leave vehicles unattended.

Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Vijay Kumar said the security forces are dealing with the menace. 

He told PTI, "We have taken adequate precautions."

Sticky bombs have been used largely in Afghanistan and Iraq. In India, it was used by suspected Iranian terrorists who targeted the vehicle of an Israeli diplomat in February 2012, resulting in injury to the diplomat's wife.

Sticky bombs, which were also used by the British forces during the World War II, can be put on any vehicle and detonated through a remote control or an in-built timer, the officials said.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is currently probing a mysterious blast on a passenger bus in Katra in Jammu last month that left four people dead. Though police had downplayed the incident but a little known terror group released a video claiming it to be their handiwork.

(With PTI inputs)