SRINAGAR: Army on Sunday blamed Pakistan for the deadly militant attack on army camp in Uri saying the highly trained Lashkar-e-Toiba militants came from Pakistan controlled Kashmir (PcK) and weapons, medicines and food-items recovered from them were made-in Pakistan.
“The militants involved in Uri attack came from north of Jehlum river from their staging point located in other side of the Line of Control (LoC) on December 3-4,” General Officer Commanding (GoC), Srinagar-based Army’s 15 corps, Lt General Subrata Saha told reporters here.
He was sharing information about the December 4 encounter in Mohura, Uri in which eight soldiers including a Lt Colonel, three policemen and six militants were killed.
“The six militants involved in the attack had crossed river Jhelum by foot to reach the base. Crossing Jehlum river by hoot is an uphill task and its shows their stamina and training. It shows they were highly trained. They were carrying GPS system to keep track of their destination,” Saha said.
He said GPS system recovered from the militants showed that there is a staging area north of Jhelum on other side of LoC referring to Pakistan controlled Kashmir (PcK).
Referring to their training, he said the militants were well trained and heavily armed. “The militants were trained liked special forces and were capable to carry out special operations”.
Security forces had recovered large cache of arms and ammunition from the six militants killed in six-hour long Uri encounter. Besides food packets and medicines, six AK rifles, 55 magazines, two shotguns, two night vision binoculars, four radio sets, 32 unused grenades and one medical kit were recovered from the dead militants.
GoC said militants crossed jungles and tough terrain to carry out attack at populated area. “However, they could not reach the designated target due to presence of security men in the entire area and instead attacked an army camp in Mohura, Uri”.
“Their aim must have been to strike at civilian targets to cause fear among people and disrupt peaceful conditions for ongoing polling for 87-member J&K Assembly,” he said adding large cache of weapons seized from militants indicates that they were planning to keep the fight for the longer times.
Over 72 per cent people have voted in first two phases of polling held on November 25 and December 2. The third phase of polling will take place on December 9.
When asked how the militants crossed LoC and breached security grid to reach Uri, Lt Gen Saha said terrain in the area is tough. “The ridge lines are narrow, slopes are steeps and infiltration do happen in such circumstances. There is penetration and it took place upto some limit after which they were defeated”.
He said due to presence of security grid, army stopped militants before they could have hit their target.
“The security grid is in place and security forces are alert round the clock to foil infiltration attempts by militants and counter any insurgency”.
GoC said the weapons, food items and medicines recovered from the deceased militants were made in Pakistan.
He said attack on Mohura, Uri army camp was a desperate bid by militants.
Asked whether Pakistan was responsible for the militant attacks, Lt Gen Saha said, there has been a top-down coordination in Pakistan to synchronise the militants attacks.
“Recovery of Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) along LoC, ceasefire violations, recovery of huge cache of weapons on November 23 and now attack on army camp in Mohura, Uri camp and before that killing of six militants during an operation in Tut Mari Gali in Nowgam sector point out to a pattern and synchronization. All these attacks were coordinated in time and space,” GoC said.
He said Arnia encounter in Jammu took place after first phase of polling, Tut Mari Gali operation took place on December 2 when second phase of polling took place and before the third phase of polling Mohura, Uri attack was carried out.
GoC said these attacks and operations are not possible without design, pattern, synchronization and coordination.
About affiliation of the militants, he said the militants killed in Mohura, Uri and Tut Mari Gali Nowgam sector belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba. “There is enough evidence available with us to show that 12 militants killed in two operations belonged to LeT”.
Lt Gen Saha said 100 militants were killed in the Valley this year while during the same period last year, 62 militants were killed.
He said army has carried out 51 counter infiltration operations in the valley this year so far.
Asked whether security apparatus has been beefed up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kashmir, he said the security measures have been intensified.
Modi is arriving on Monday and is scheduled to address an election rally in Sheri Kashmir cricket stadium, where according to BJP leaders, about one lakh people are expected to attend the function.