Srinagar, India, Asharq Al-Awsat- In a sign of the times, militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir are increasingly becoming technology savvy, as the Indian army recently discovered.
The Army recovered dozens of computer discs and electronic devices in addition to a cached of weapons hidden in a natural cave in a thick mountainous forest in Gurez along the Line of Control.
One of the discs was found to contain a step-by-step technical manual for assembling different kinds of improvised explosive devices bombs and rockets. It also featured military training information.
Commenting on the seizure, a spokesman for the Indian army, Officer Vijay Batra, said “It indicates that at least half a dozen militants are experts in creating bombs and were training for a large scale operation.”
The use of computers by militant groups is not an entirely new phenomenon. In 2002, the army conducted “Operation Extermination” against militants in the mountainous terrain of Hill Kaka in the border district of Poonch and recovered several laptops from cemented bunkers previously used by fighters.
On a number of occasions, security forces in Kashmir foiled militant plans to use the internet and send coded messages preferring the worldwide web to phones and mobiles that more easily to tack.
The internet was suspended IN 2002 throughout the disputed provinces of Jammu and Kashmir to avoid being used by fighters but the ban was later reversed.
According to Major General Mukesh Sabarhwal of the Indian army, the weapons depot uncovered contained enough material to make between 50 and 100 car bombs and would have caused great damage.
More than a dozen Kalashnikov rifles, 5000 rounds of ammunition, rocket launchers, guns, detonators, the explosive material RDX, night vision devices, and radio sets were also part of the military arsenal skillfully hidden in an eight-meter long cave.
In the last five years, the army has also confiscated more than twenty-five satellite phones from militant groups who use them to communicate with supporters on the Pakistani side without having to fear being overheard.