Srinagar, Aug 1: Sophisticated weapons see to be the new fad in Jammu and Kashmir for terrorists.
Images of terrorists posing with US made guns have been doing the rounds in Kashmir and security agencies say that this could be more than just propaganda.
The trend appears to have started in 2017, when the security forces seized a huge cache of sophisticated weapons following an encounter at Pulwama. A few months later, an image on the social media showed Sameer Tiger of the Jaish-e-Mohammad sporting a M4 Carbine rifle, which is used by the NATO forces in Afghanistan. It is said that there are at least 10 such weapons in the Valley. A similar weapon was also found on Talha Rasheed, the nephew of Jaish chief, Maulana Masood Azhar.
An image of Rashid with the weapon went viral before he was killed in an encounter.
Another image that surfaced earlier this week saw a local terrorist Azad Malik, with a sophisticated weapon. This is a relatively new weapon and has not been used in the Valley.
Security agencies are finding out more details on the weapon and say that it has been provided by the Pakistan army.
In recent times, terrorists in Kashmir have been resorting to various means to further propaganda. Recently there was a threat of a biological warfare being launched. Following this an image of a terrorist holding a M4 Carbine had surfaced.
Terrorists in Kashmir usually use the Ak-47 or Ak-56. However there are reports that they would move on to more sophisticated weapons in a bid to challenge the Indian security forces.
There are many factors behind the upgradation of weapons in the Valley. The Indian Army has put its might to take down these terrorists. The forces have in fact achieved plenty of success in recent times after it gunned down the top commanders of the three terrorist groups- Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammad.
This could be one of the factors why the Pakistan army felt that its terrorists in Kashmir should have upgraded weapons.
The other issue is the quick pace at which the recruitments into terror groups are taking place. There is hardly any time to train and hence these sophisticated weapons do come in handy. Such weapons are relatively easier to handle even for new recruits.
The use of such weapons comes at a time when several terrorist groups are facing a major weapon crunch. The ratio between the recruitments and weapons is huge and there are several in the Valley who have only a pistol on them.
According to the state home ministry data, 66 weapons - 17 AK rifles, 23 SLR rifles, 14 INSAS rifles, 6 pistols, one .303 rifle, one carbine, 3 UBGL thrower and one Taser gun were looted by terrorists and other suspects from the mobs after attacking police stations and the personnel.