Under Governor’s rule, Jammu and Kashmir is gearing up towards major anti-terror operations with the elite Black Cat Commandos of National Security Guards (NSG) being deployed in the state to aid the military in fighting militancy in the Valley.

After BJP’s pull-out from coalition with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kashmir and the resignation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti this week, the north Indian state has been placed under Governor’s rule. Henceforth, Kashmir was placed under governor’s rule for the fourth time in last decade – giving power to N N Vohra on Wednesday. Soon after the change in power, the Union Home Ministry decided to conduct intense counterterror operations in Jammu and Kashmir. With the month-long Non-Initiation of Combat Operations (NICO) being lifted, the Centre has approved deployment of National Security Guards (NSG) in Kashmir to aggressively fight again militants.

The BSF Camp in outskirts of Srinagar is currently flocked by dozens of elite NSG commandos aka Black Cat Commandos – who are training themselves to familiarise with counterterror ops. The deployment of elite commandos was approved since the casualty rates of security force personnel had rocketed in recent times. With NSG commandos making use of sophisticated equipment like sniper rifles, through-the-wall radars, and corner shot assault weapons – the army wants to avoid risking lives of military personnel while trying to neutralise terrorists. Hence, the commandos will work alongside security agencies when holing up against militants in Kashmir.

Never before were the NSG special commandos deployed in Jammu Kashmir to aid anti-militancy operations – which are currently conducted by the state police, the Indian Army and CRPF. While the army intends to avoid human loss in the trouble-ridden state, aggressive counterterror operations can be a gamble. The ops can either been seen as an overpowering pressure by militants that can lead to neutralisation and peace in the Valley; or it can turn out to be offensive and aggravate the militancy presence in the state. Since this is the first time that such operations are being held, only time can tell if there will be peace in Kashmir, or not.

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