Fanatic religious to aquatic training, why Balakot is the most lethal terror producing factory
New Delhi, Sep 23: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said today that the Balakot facility of the Jaish-e-Mohammad had been reactivated. This is the first time operations are being conducted within the facility after it was hit by the Indian Air Force (IAF) earlier this year.
Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials tell OneIndia that it comes as no surprise that the Jaish-e-Mohammad went ahead and re-activated this facility. It is one of the most important training centres for the JeM operatives and it was a well-known fact that the facility would be re-activated sooner or later, the officer said.
However, what makes the facility so important and lethal. The Balakot facility has been on the radar of the Research and Analysis Wing for nearly two decades. It was first mapped by us over 15 years back, a former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing, Amar Bhushan tells this correspondent. These targets were on the radar of the Indian establishment for long, Bhushan also says.
A detailed note prepared by the Intelligence, which is in the possession of OneIndia speaks in-depth about this facility. The note makes mention of the propaganda material being used at the camp and also added that videos of the Babri Masjid demolition and Kandahar hijack were being used. Further, the note speaks about an extensive training programme of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, which included both military and religious training.
The courses were called as the Daum-al-Raad and Daura-e-Khas. The note also mentions the training programmes were similar to the ones that are being undertaken by the other terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
The training was extremely advanced the intelligence notes. The terrorists were taught how to operate undercover and also imparted training on the use of wireless equipment as well.
The Balakot camp is a facility that was run undercover as a madrasa. Inside the camp that spreads over 7 acres, terrorists had various recreational facilities such as a pool, football ground, just to name a few.
Part of the training programme included a survival camp in a jungle. The camp is located in the midst of a dense forest. The terrorists were trained on how to survive in the jungle for several days. Here they were also taught how to read maps and on the use of GPS communication.
The intelligence note also said that there were programmes on aquatic training, which were undertaken by officials both current and former of the Pakistan military. This programme took place at the Kunhar river, the banks on which this camp is situated, the note also added.
The camp, the intelligence notes could house 600 terrorists at any given time. It was a state of the art camp and over the years became the JeM primary training facility. Further, it was also stated that the religious programme was an intense one. There were sessions that went on for hours in which the recruits were thoroughly brainwashed. Almost every terrorist was trained for fidayeen or suicide attack, the intelligence also said.