170 overground workers nabbed in J&K this year in Kashmir

“As ‘hybrid’ militants have become a new challenge for security forces in Kashmir, over 170 persons with direct or indirect links with militant outfits have been arrested this year so far.”

In the last more than a year when the ultras have been on the run due to relentless anti-militancy operations by security forces, ‘hybrid’ or ‘part-time’ militants have been posing a new challenge as they are very difficult to track.

‘Hybrid’ militant is a person next door who has been radicalised and kept on standby mode by the handlers for carrying out a terror incident. These ‘hybrid’ militants carry out a terror strike and then slip back into routine life.

On December 31, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar had acknowledged that for 2022, ‘hybrid’ militancy will remain as the biggest challenge for the police. The word “hybrid” first emerged after militants believed to be affiliated with The Resistance Front (TRF), an affiliate of Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT), killed two non-Muslim teachers inside the premises of a government school in Srinagar on October 7 last year.

In the first four months of this year, security forces have launched a crackdown against the network of ‘hybrid’ militancy and arrested over 170 persons who had direct or indirect links with militant outfits.

The police call the arrested persons as over ground workers (OGWs) of militants. “OGWs form an important part of the terror ecosystem as they are the ones who provide basic support to the ultras infiltrating from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,”.

He said out of this OGW network, some become ‘hybrid’ militants while the rest work as guides for Pakistani terrorists and are also used as gun smugglers for local ultras.

“Another important work that the OGWs do is providing food and shelter to the terrorists in hiding,”.

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