During the Nagrota clash between security forces and militants on 31 January, three over-ground workers (OGWs) were arrested; the term is used in India to describe non-combatants who sympathise with the cause of the terrorists.
They revealed that a group of terrorists associated with Pakistan-based terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) are present in Amritsar, a city in the state of Punjab in north west India which shares a border with Pakistan.
Intelligence has revealed that terrorists, who entered the state from the Pakistani border in the state, are planning some major subversive activity in Punjab. It was also said that local terrorists present in Punjab were also in touch with the group.
According to Indian intelligence agencies, the three terrorists killed in the Nagrota encounter had received pistols, cartridges, arms and ammunition from their handlers in Pakistan.
The overground contact of the terrorists, on interrogation, revealed that he had hidden some pistols and cartridges a village in Amritsar district, which were recovered by Jammu and Kashmir police. These arms, handed over to them by Kashmir-based terrorists, were meant for their counterparts present in Amritsar.
One overground worker, identified as Sameer Dar, is a cousin of the 14 February 2019 Pulwama attack mastermind Adil Dar. JeM suicide bombers had attacked a troop convoy in the Pulwama district of Indian-administered Kashmir, killing 40 security forces.
The attack triggered a retaliatory Indian airstrike on a purported JeM training camp in Balakot, Pakistan, heightening tension between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours.
The standoff between India and Pakistan became further exacerbated after New Delhi abrogated Article 370 of its Constitution, withdrawing the special status enjoyed by the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in early August 2019. Pakistan, which claims to be a stakeholder in Kashmir, went on a diplomatic offensive, suspending all bilateral relations with India. In the months since then, the situation still remains tense between the two nations, which have been at war three time since they gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947.