Massive operation launched against militants in Uri

Phone services, internet snapped
*No need to worry about Taliban: GOC

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, Sept 20: Army today launched a massive operation in Uri sector of North Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC) after a group of militants infiltrated into the area and the mobile, landlines and internet have been snapped.
An official said that internet, landline and mobile phone services have been suspended in Uri after an infiltration bid in the area.
The official said that a group of six militants infiltrated into the Gohalan area of Uri and during the gun battle one Army soldier was injured. He said that four infiltrators have fled to Pakistan and two are probably hiding in the area and an operation has been launched against them.
He said that reinforcements including Special Forces have been sent to the area and a large area has been cordoned off. Click here to watch video
“No ceasefire violation this year. We are prepared for any ceasefire violation. But frankly there has been no instigation from across the border,” he added.
Addressing media on the sidelines of Kashmir Super 30 Medical event, General Officer Commanding of Srinagar based 15 Corps Lt General DP Pandey said there is operation which is ongoing for the last 24 hours in Uri. “We felt that there is an infiltration attempt which has been made. We are looking for them. Are they on this side or gone back after making attempt, that issue has not been clarified or verified on the ground. But we are quite alert and we will ensure minimal infiltration takes place,” he said.
He added that there has been no increase in ceasefire violation and not even a single incident of ceasefire violation took place in 2021.
Replying on infiltration attempts made along the Line of Control, he said that there have been some attempts of infiltration among which only two succeeded. “One group was neutralized in Bandipora district, and we are looking for the 2nd one, which has been successful”, he added.
Replying to a question over the presence of foreign militants in the Valley, he said that according to IGP and DGP, around 60-70 foreign militants are active here. He also said that only Pakistan-backed militants in name of foreign militants are active here who involve local youth to carry out militant attacks.
“Whenever we talk about foreign militants, they are Pakistan backed-militants. They never come in the forefront of militant attacks. Their strategy is to involve local youth in militancy, give them weapons and carry out militant attacks,” Pandey said, adding that it benefits them as whenever local militant is killed their families go angry with forces, which is what they want.
“There is no need to worry about the possibility of a spillover of Taliban militants into Jammu and Kashmir as people will be kept safe”, he said.
“This question has been asked to me a number of times on events which are unrelated. Right? So, I will again answer your question: why are you worried? You are safe and you will be kept safe. There is enough effort,” Lt Gen Pandey said.
The GOC said if anyone picks up arms, they will face consequences and will either be neutralised or apprehended, or will have to surrender.
“I am not looking at questions on Taliban or foreign terrorists or local terrorists. For us, it has got nothing to do with the quality and quantity. If there is a gentleman who picks up a weapon, he will be neutralised either way — by getting killed or by getting apprehended and if he comes and offers (to) surrender, we will take surrender,” he said.
The GOC, however, said there is a change in the mindset of the people in Kashmir as they have “realised that they have been taken up the wrong path by the people within their own community”.
“This is the fight against anti-national, anti-social elements which has to be taken up by the people themselves. We need to ensure that the children come out freely, educate themselves and become responsible citizens of the country.
“They take respect in society, they fulfil the dreams of their parents. No father or mother wants their child to pelt stones on the streets, but there are vicious elements which motivate them through various means and take them out on to the streets,” he said.
Lt Gen Pandey said the current security scenario “reflects clearly that the youth has stopped coming out on the street, that they have understood this game”.
“Therefore, we will continue to launch such ventures to ensure there are better opportunities for the youth to compete with the best pan-country and go out all over the country, the world and become responsible, mature human beings,” he added.
He said the security forces have been reaching out to the families of the youth who have joined militancy.
“We have to ensure that they (families) reach out to their young ones who have been misled and they should be allowed to surrender by motivating them to be a responsible citizen of the country. There cannot be a better opportunity as of today to ensure that they can fall back to civil society,’ he said.
The senior Army officer said those people within Kashmir who are “misleading” the youth to pick up arms must be exposed.
“We must expose the people who are within Kashmir who are ensuring that while their children are studying in good schools, colleges, have good jobs or businesses, but the youth which is misled, which is not from such an affluent background, not so well-educated, picks a weapon and dies.
“The local terrorist family members need to go and ask those parents that why is your son not picking up weapon but you are ensuring that my child picks up weapon. Why is it that my kid is taken to a wrong path? Unless this realisation comes from within the society, this nickel will always remain,” he said.
Earlier, the GOC Chinar Corps felicitated students of the first and the second batch of the Army’s Kashmir Super 30 (Medical) course who are now successfully undergoing the MBBS and other courses after clearing the NEET.
Since the initiative was launched in June 2018, 68 students have successfully undergone the programme over the last two batches with hundred percent results. The third batch of 35 students has appeared in NEET examination in September.
The GOC Chinar Corps complimented the efforts and dedication of the students and support of their parents. He announced that the fourth batch will commence on 25 September.
In line with Chinar Corps’ efforts to empower women, 20 girl students are being considered for the fourth batch. The selected girls will join the fourth batch after a month. So, the batch will host 50 students — 30 boys and 20 girls. Necessary infrastructure development will also be undertaken to support the project, he said.