SRINAGAR, Sept 18: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh today visited Srinagar to review security situation after the deadly attack on Uri Brigade Headquarters this morning in which 17 army personnel were killed and equal number were injured.
Meanwhile, Director General Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, today conveyed India’s concern over the attack on Uri Brigade.
Parrikar and Gen Singh visited Kashmir soon after the attack to take stock of the ongoing operations and review the overall security situation in Kashmir.
They were briefed by the Northern Army and Chinar Corps Commanders Lt Gen DS Hooda and Lt Gen Satish Dua respectively at Srinagar on the Uri attack and the operation launched to neutralise the Fidayeen.
“While three of the four heavily armed terrorists were eliminated within the initial 15 minutes of establishing contact, the fourth was neutralized later and four AK 47 rifles and equal number of UBGLs along with other war like stores were recovered from them. Unfortunately, 17 soldiers have attained martyrdom in the operation. 13 of these soldiers died as they were trapped in the tents and shelters that caught fire due to the explosives used by the terrorists”, the Army commanders told Defence Minister and Army chief.
Parrikar was briefed about the Security Grid along the LoC and the hinterland also covering the deployment of the additional forces that have been recently inducted into the Valley.
The commanders stressed for need of heightened vigil both on the LoC and hinterland and preparedness to tackle any such attack. “There have been a number of infiltration attempts that the Army has foiled recently. Last one week itself, three such attempts were foiled in Kupwara Sector when four terrorists were killed and another group of four terrorists was eliminated in Poonch”, the Army Commanders told the Defence Minister.
The Army chief told the meeting that complete synergy amongst all security, intelligence and other government agencies to ensure calm and prevent the terrorists and other inimical forces from moving with impunity and intimidating the populace is need of the hour.
Earlier, the Army chief visited Uri to get a firsthand account where he was briefed on the latest situation by the Commanders on ground.
Parriker and Army chief met the injured at the Army Base Hospital in BB Cantt. “Saluting the martyrs, they expressed their deep grief and condolences over the loss and wished speedy recovery to the injured”, said a statement issued here by army.
The statement said: “Defence Minister directed that the mortal remains of all the martyrs would be transported directly to their respective hometowns for which arrangements are being made”.
The Director General of Military Operations, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, today conveyed India’s concern over the attack on Uri Brigade.
A statement issued by the Defence ministry here said: “Since the terrorists had some items with Pakistani markings, I have spoken to Pakistan DGMO and conveyed our serious concerns on the same.”
Lt General Singh said that all the intelligence agencies are working in close synergy with the security forces and regular intelligence inputs are received from agencies and necessary action is being taken accordingly.
The statement said: “A group of heavily armed terrorists opened fire on an administrative base of one of the units of Indian Army at Uri in Kashmir at approximately 0530 hours this morning. The firefight between the terrorists and Army Personnel continued till approximately 0830 hours, during which four terrorists have been killed. All four killed were foreign terrorists and had some items with them which had Pakistani markings. Initial reports indicate that the slain terrorists belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed tanzeem. Four AK 47 rifles and four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers along with a large number of other war like stores were recovered from them.”
“The terrorists fired incendiary ammunition along with automatic fire of small arms that led to army tents / temporary shelters catching fire. The tents located in the complex were to house additional troops inducted due to routine turnover of units. There have been a total of 17 Army fatal casualties. Of these, 13 – 14 casualties have been due to these tents/ shelters having caught fire. I must mention that the operation for clearance of the area is still in progress and a very deliberate search is being carried out of the entire area around the Military Complex in Uri. As such, complete details of the operation are not yet available. However, the operation is being carried out by the Indian Army in a very professional manner and the Army personnel have displayed exceptionally high standards of courage and gallantry while neutralizing the terrorists”, the DGMO said.
The DGMO has assured that the Indian Army is alert to thwart any nefarious designs and any evil designs of the adversary shall be given a befitting reply.