THE ARMY said that it has killed two intruders on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir on Friday morning, suspecting them to be part of a Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) sent to kill Indian soldiers. “At about 8.40 am, two armed intruders infiltrated in the Uri Sector of J&K from the close vicinity of a known Pakistani post and came close to an Indian Army post about 500 metres inside own side of the Line of Control. After a firefight, both intruders were neutralised by our troops. Two bodies, one AK 47 Rifle, one pistol and warlike stores were recovered from the site,” Colonel Aman Anand, Army PRO, told The Indian Express.
Army sources said the incident happened on the LoC, south of Jhelum, in the Kathi battalion area of 12 Brigade sector. The Indian post, which is 600 metres from the LoC, was alerted by the sound of a claymore mine, laid ahead of the post, being triggered off, they said. Sources said the soldiers at the post saw two intruders running away towards the Pakistani side of the LoC — the Pakistani post is located 200 metres away from the LoC, inside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
On detecting the fleeing intruders, the soldiers chased them and in the ensuing firefight, both were killed around 100 metres from the Indian post, said sources. Defense spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said that alert soldiers foiled the attack against the Indian Army patrol in Uri sector. “Two BAT attackers were killed in the operation. The Army is scanning the area.” Sources said the absence of any rucksack and communication equipment on the bodies has led the Army to suspect that they were not infiltrating militants but members of a BAT, who would have returned after undertaking local action.
Any infiltrating group of militants, sources said, would be carrying rations, maps, clothing and equipment, while moving at an altitude of 8,000 feet. The intruders had free movement to the Indian post as it is located approximately 1 km in front of the LoC fencing, in an eyeball to eyeball situation with the Pakistani post. The identity of the dead intruders could not be ascertained, said sources.
India and Pakistan are known to employ BAT on the LoC. While Indian BAT have regular Army soldiers, Pakistani BAT can comprise either solely of Pakistan Army soldiers or a mix of soldiers and militants. The Pakistani soldiers are usually commandos from its Army’s SAG. The incident comes one week after the Army foiled an infiltration attempt in the neighbouring Nowgam sector. Four infiltrators and three Armymen were killed.
On May 1, a Pakistan army BAT killed and beheaded two security personnel — BSF Head Constable Prem Sagar and Army Subedar Paramjeet Singh — in the Poonch sector on the LoC. To prevent Pakistani action, India has upped the ante on the LoC in recent weeks, using heavy weapons to target Pakistan posts, which have been sending militants across. Earlier this week, the Army released a video which it said was of a Pakistan Army post in Naushera sector on the LoC being destroyed.
The Army had earlier spotted some suspicious movement along the LoC in Krishna Gati sector after which the weekly Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service was suspended for a day. The attack on Friday comes a week after Defence Minister Arun Jaitley visited forward posts along the LoC in Uri sector to review the security situation and interacted with the soldiers deployed there.
(With inputs from Mir Ehsan in Srinagar)