From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Operation Sarvashakti
Mains level : NA
- The Indian Army has initiated Operation Sarvashakti in the Rajouri-Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir to combat rising terrorist threats targeting security forces.
- This article explores Operation Sarpvinash, a similar military operation conducted in the same region over two decades ago, shedding light on its objectives, significance, and historical context.
Operation Sarvashakti: The Need for Action
- Escalating Threats: Recent years have witnessed three major terrorist attacks in the area, resulting in the loss of 20 soldiers.
- Foreign Terrorist Presence: The region is known for hosting foreign terrorists, making it a significant security concern.
- Enhancing Troop Presence: Operation Sarvashakti involves deploying additional troops to increase the density, thereby improving the chances of encounters with terrorists.
Reflecting on Operation Sarpvinash
- Counter-Insurgency in 2003: Operation Sarpvinash was conducted by Indian forces in response to the growing insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Extensive Troop Deployment: Over about three months, around 10,000 troops from the 15 Corps and 16 Corps participated in the operation.
- Aerial Support: Mi-17 helicopters facilitated troop transport to Hilkaka, a village seized by terrorists, while Lancer attack helicopters neutralized concrete bunkers built by infiltrators.
- Decisive Outcomes: The operation led to the elimination of nearly 100 terrorists, significant arms and ammunition seizures, including explosives, and the dismantling of 40-50 terrorist hideouts.
Origins of Operation Sarpvinash
- Post-Kargil War Scenario: With the Kargil war of 1999 fresh in memory and the aftermath of the December 2001 Parliament attack, Operation Parakram involved a substantial military mobilization along the Pakistan border.
- Preparation in 2003: Operation Sarpvinash preparations began after intelligence reports indicated the presence of over 300 foreign terrorists who had infiltrated the Line of Control (LoC) and established secure camps in Surankote and Hilkaka.
- Terrorist Control: These terrorists, affiliated with various Pakistan-based outfits, had created a demilitarized zone and asserted dominance, including the establishment of multiple hideouts and bunkers.
- Crucial Location: The areas south of Mendhar leading to the Pir Panjal range through Hilkaka offer the shortest infiltration route from across the LoC into the Kashmir valley.
- Infiltration Potential: Controlling this region provides a potential conduit for personnel during a Pakistani military operation and facilitates terrorist infiltration.
- Natural Cover: Dense forests and steep mountain slopes offer natural concealment, allowing terrorists to evade Indian forces during searches and engage them strategically.
- Period of Peace: Following Operation Sarpvinash, the region experienced relative peace until 2017-18, despite ongoing terrorist incidents in the Kashmir valley.
- Recent Escalations: However, since 2021, this area has witnessed a resurgence of high-intensity attacks on security forces.