The security forces have been facing a tough time combating stone pelters in the Kashmir Valley since the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani last year.
In a latest revelation, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have unearthed how these stone pelters get information about the site and time of encounter to be carried out and reach there to create unrest.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police have found that WhatsApp groups with Pakistani numbers as administrators are involved in rumour-mongering and crowd mobilisation during anti-militancy operations in the Valley.
As soon as an encounter starts, the stone pelters are being informed on these WhatsApp group about the time and location of the operation and are directed to reach there.
These WhatsApp groups, which are supported by overground workers of the terror groups situated in Pakistan, also send links to the youths in Valley to join them.
As soon the information is sent on these groups, the miscreants reach the site of encounter and start pelting stones on the security forces.
Jamm and Kashmir DGP S P Vaid said that these WhatsApp groups are involved in crowd mobilisation and radicalising the youth so that maximum number of innocent people come in the line of firing, which ultimately leads to more controversies.
“Social media is being highly misused in these situations. Terrorists from across the border send information about the site and real-time of the encounter. They mislead the youth in Kashmir so that innocent people come in the line of firing and there are more casualties,” said DGP S P Vaid.
“To deal with the problem, we monitor these social media groups and counter these. We try to inform the youth about the intentions behind these misleading messages,” he further added.
The Pulwama police have launched a massive crackdown on such underground and fake news WhatsApp groups who mobilise crowds to help the militants escape from search-and-cordon operations.
They have identified 30-35 miscreants who operate such groups on WhatsApp to mislead the youth in the Valley.
Rayees Mohammad Bhat, Superintendent of Police, Pulwama, said that terrorists from across the border use social media as a weapon for stone pelting, mislead the crown and also for rumour-mongering.