The rear office of the Indian Army’s infantry battalion in Baramulla district’s Uri, was attacked by militants on Sunday morning. An army press release confirmed the death of 17 army jawans. It also added the the four militants had been neutralised and currently combing operations were underway. While Prime Minister Modi condemned the incident and said the perpetrators would be punished, Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a high-level meeting with MHA and MoD officials at his residence on Sunday. PM also said that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar would visit Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the situation.
Security has been beefed up in the vicinity and roads connecting the LoC. The attack took place at around 5:15 am following which the Indian Army launched a counter attack. Several tents caught fire due to the heavy gunfire causing massive casualties.
However, this is not the first such attack this year. Replying to a written question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said, “There is an increase in infiltration bids by terrorists from across Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir during this year.” Ahir said there had been 90 infiltration attempts till June 30 in comparison to 29 attempts in the corresponding period in 2015, reported PTI.
In September, security forces and police engaged in a three day long operation to neutralize four terrorists who had been entrenched in the Mini Secretariat building opposite the office of the district Superintendent of Police. General Officer Commanding of the 16 Corps , Lt General R R Nimborkar said that the terrorists, who belong to the suicide squad of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, ‘had come to do something spectacular so as to gain attention.’ According to reports, two groups of heavily armed militants had attacked Poonch town. A police constable, two Army men, two police personnel, and a civilian were killed by the slain terrorists. The encounter between security forces and the terrorists had been the longest one since the Pathankot Air Base attack.
Militants attacked a CRPF camp in Pulwama district on September 9 but after facing retaliation from the security personnel, they fled. According to reports, there had been no casualty or damage. It was a second attack on the district in four days. In August, a policeman was shot dead outside his home in Pulwama. Reports said that the militants attacked him while he was leaving for his duty. Prior to this incident, 18 police and paramilitary personnel were injured when militants hurled a grenade towards security forces near the Government Degree College Pulwama. Incidentally, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had arrived in Kashmir on the same day to find a solution to the ongoing unrest in the Valley that had sparked off after Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani’s death.
Khawaja Bagh attack
Just two days after Independence Day, the Hizbul Mujahideen group attacked an Army convoy near Srinagar-Baramulla highway killing eight people and injuring 22 others. A spokesperson for the militant outfit warned the government of more such attacks in the near future. A day earlier, militants had lobbed a grenade on the Kakapora police station in Pulwama district that left five policemen injured. The Khawaja Bagh attack was the third by militants since August 15.
In an attack at Nowhatta in Srinagar on Independence Day, a CRPF commandant and two militants were killed and nine personnel injured. Officials informed that after a four-hour gunfight, two militants, believed to be “foreigners”, were killed. Militants had also attacked a BSF installation on August 19 in Kupwara district leaving three BSF personnel injured.
In July, the Indian Army foiled an infiltration bid in Kupwara district near the LoC. A soldier was killed by the militants. An army official said the infiltrators were forced to flee after an exchange of gunfire between the security forces and the militants.
In June, eight CRPF personnel were killed and at least 20 others were left injured when militants attacked their convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway near Pampore. Terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was carried out by a two-member fidayeen squad. However, reports suggested that three-four militants had attacked the convoy with the aim “to inflict high casualties on the security forces.”
Also read | Uri terror attack: Militants target Army brigade
On June 4, two armed militants attacked a police check-post in Anantnag town, killing an assistant sub-inspector and a police constable before fleeing the spot. Earlier, on June 3, Hizbul Mujahideen militants targeted a BSF convoy at Bijbhera killing three personnel. In February, two CRPF personnel were killed and 11 others injured in a similar attack on the national highway at Pampore in South Kashmir. The militants later took refuge at a nearby institute and the encounter lasted for three days resulting in the death of the three attackers. Two captains and a special forces soldier of the Indian army were also killed in the gunbattle.
Pathankot airbase attack
In January, six heavily-armed Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists had attacked the Pathankot air base in a pre-dawn strike merely days after PM Narendra Modi made an unannounced visit to meet Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif in an attempt to strengthen relations between the two countries. Seven security forces personnel had lost their lives in the attack. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that ammunition and equipment recovered from the terrorists suggested that they came from across the border. Army Chief Dalbir Singh also said “the markings of the medicines indicate they came from there.”