Army foils infiltration bid in Uri, 3 militants killed

Troops with arms and ammunition recovered from three militants killed in Uri sector. —Excelsior/Abid Nabi
Troops with arms and ammunition recovered from three militants killed in Uri sector. —Excelsior/Abid Nabi

Part timers used for carrying out attacks: IGP

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, Sept 23: Army foiled a major infiltration bid in Uri sector in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district by killing three heavily armed militants and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition.
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General Officer Commanding (GOC) Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lieutenant General D P Pandey told a news conference here that today’s infiltration attempt was the second since September 18 in Uri sector.
“Today morning, alert troops spotted a group of infiltrators in Uri sector. They were challenged and three militants were killed. The September 18 bid was foiled and the militants were pushed back,” he said.
The Commanding Officer of the operation, while briefing the media men through video conferencing from Uri, said that this morning, Army spotted a group of militants in forest area of Uri sector at 6 am. Surveillance was enhanced and the group was challenged. Three militants were killed after a brief exchange of fire,” he added.
The Army’s Uri based Commanding Officer said that three slain militants were carrying huge quantity of arms and ammunition including five AK-47 rifles, seven pistols, 5 AK magazines, 24 UBGl grenades, 38 Chinese grenades, seven Pakistan made grenades, Rs 35000 Indian and Pakistani currency and some edibles.
The GOC said that only one slain militant has been identified so far who is a Pakistani resident. “The identity of the other two is being ascertained,” he added.
On whether today’s infiltration had any Afghanistan link, he said: “Army is alert and that we were anticipating change in the behavior of Pakistan in the month of September and expecting infiltration ahead of the onset of winter. I would not like to connect this with the geo-politics. We are ready to foil all bids.”
He said after sanitizing the area, Uri operation has been called off.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told the news conference that feeling frustrated by the prevailing peaceful atmosphere, rising number of tourist arrivals, Union Ministers, and the peaceful situation post death of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, there is a change in strategy from across the LoC.
“Now, there is a new trend of Hybrid and part time militants, who are being given pistols to carry out target killings during evening hours and then they resume normal activities after a day,” the IGP said.
He said this year so far 97 pistols have been recovered from militants, which signifies “hybrid militants are being promoted” to target unarmed policemen, civilians and political leaders.
Replying to a query about successful anti-militancy operations, the GOC said it was because of the “good human intelligence and public support” that successful operations are taking place.
Asked whether the militants killed in Uri sector today were Fidayeen, he said they were carrying adequate arms and ammunition with them to stay for a long time.
In the meantime, a newly recruited militant was killed in an encounter in Kashwa village of Chitragam hamlet of Shopian today.
An official said that based on specific inputs a cordon and search operation was launched by joint team of security forces.
“It was found that a local militant was hiding there. He was repeatedly asked to surrender but he didn’t accept the offer and opened fire which was retaliated in which he was killed,” the official said.
He said that slain militant was involved in an attack on a shopkeeper in the area last night.
Meanwhile, police in a series of tweets said that the militant was offered surrender for whole night but he rejected and was killed. “One pistol and ammunition were recovered from his possession,” police said.
“Last night recently active militant who was earlier an OGW and also involved in drugs, namely Anayat Ashraf Dar son of Ashraf Dar resident of Keshwa Shopian fired upon a civilian Jeewer Hameed Bhat, who got seriously injured and is still hospitalised”, Police said.
“Anayat also used to threaten other people in and around his village with his illegal acquired weapons. After thorough interrogation of several suspects after attack and input from sources, a CASO was launched at village Keshwa”, police added.
Meanwhile, police today busted a militant cum recruitment module of Lashkar-e-Toiba by arresting four persons in Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
Acting on a specific lead, police in Bandipora arrested one Asadullah Parray of Hajin, who was heading a recruitment module of Lashkar-e Toiba.
Police said that Parray maintained a close contact with militancy handlers across the border and would do their bidding in recruiting young boys in militant ranks and arranging weapons and other logistics for them.
“He was earlier associated with Jel before shifting his allegiance to the Masarat Alam led Muslim League. The individual has about a dozen PSAs and FIRs lodged against him and spent a good part of the previous decade in custody”, Police said.
“On the basis of leads provided by him, his nephew Naseer Ahmed Parray of Hajin, Haseena of Sheeri, Khursheed Ahmad of Naidkhai and others were part of the group, which was in continuous contact across the border and would receive detailed instructions for their day to day activities. Apart from recruiting individuals and arranging arms and ammunition for them, the group was also involved in motivating youth to carry out petrol bombs on Government buildings and protected persons and recce of potential targets”, police said.
“A huge quantity of incendiary materials was recovered from them which was to be used for making petrol bombs”, police added.
On the disclosures made by them, Rafeeq of Naidkhai and Hilal Ahmed Shah of Shah Mohalla Hajin who were about to join militant ranks at the instance of this group have been detained and are being questioned.
Security forces also busted a militant hideout in Trenariyan forest area of Damhal Hanjipora in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
On a credible input, the security forces including 34 RR and Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel busted a militant hideout in area Trenariyan area of D H pora.
“During the search, the security forces unearthed a militant hideout and recovered incriminating material,” they said.