Region of Concern: India
Written By Mridul Mahendroo; Edited by Laila Bayoumi
Date: January 2, 2023
Jammu and Kashmir Map
Event: On January 2, six civilians including two children were killed by a blast in Dhangri Village in India’s Jammu and Kashmir State. Two gunmen opened fire at the houses of the village the night before. Police forces have not found the perpetrators of these attacks but believe that these events are linked to pro-Pakistan militants targeting this village due to its proximity to the India-Pakistan border. These attacks have led to protests in Dhangri and Jammu demanding action by the central government. Protestors refused to cremate the victim’s bodies until appropriate action from the government was taken.
Significance: The proximity of the village to the Pakistani border makes it likely that these attacks were perpetrated by militants armed and commanded from Pakistan. Further attacks are likely to take place targeting villages near the Pakistani border creating social and political instability. The current protests against terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir will likely lead to the destruction of infrastructures, such as shops, houses, and roads. Mobilization of security forces due to clashes is likely to divert their attention to protest control and facilitate additional militant attacks. It is also likely that additional attacks will lead to populations living near the border resettling in other areas creating an unplanned population influx in other districts. This is likely to create a housing and resource shortage leading to tensions with locals.
Recommendations: The Indian army should increase surveillance at the border and use drone detection systems to intercept weapon smuggling. The Indian Intelligence Community should identify high-risk areas near the border. Local authorities should avoid a population exodus by increasing police presence in these areas and encouraging civilians to report any suspicious activity. Police should identify individuals suspected to be affiliated with terrorist groups living near the targeted village and investigate their recent activities. Regional communication channels should be monitored to identify any intelligence related to the attack. Populations in areas likely to hold protests should be informed of the risk of imminent violence and law enforcement authorities should be ready to intervene. In the case of violent protests, Jammu and Kashmir should ask the central government for immediate army reinforcements for protest management and civilian protection.
 Police: 2 kids among 6 people die in Kashmir village attack, AP, January 2023, https://apnews.com/article/kashmir-pakistan-crime-law-enforcement-ab8baab8795997c98cfaea4200de30d1