Politics

Modi Chairs Cabinet Meeting to Discuss Uri Attack As Army Foils Two Infiltration Bids

The Indian Army stopped two infiltration attempts from across the border in Kashmir on Tuesday with security personnel killing ten terrorists.

Army personnel in action inside the Army Brigade camp during a terror attack in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. Credit: PTI

Army personnel in action inside the Army Brigade camp during a terror attack in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. Credit: PTI

The Union Cabinet, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is holding a meeting on Wednesday, three days after 18 soldiers were killed in a militant attack on an Army camp in north Kashmir’s Uri town.

The Cabinet Committee on Security also held a meeting to review the situation arising out of the attack. Union home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley and defence minister Manohar Parrikar attended the meeting.

Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has also held detailed discussions with top officials from various security forces, police and intelligence agencies and has reviewed the security situation across the Valley.

Army foils infiltration bids

Just days after the attack in Uri, two infiltration bids were made from across the border in Kashmir on Tuesday. Even as Pakistani troops violated ceasefire and fired at Indian positions, the Indian Army foiled the infiltration bids in an encounter in which ten terrorists and a soldier were killed.

According to an army spokesman in Srinagar, the infiltration bids from across the Line of Control had been foiled in Uri and Nowgam sectors on Tuesday. The spokesman, however, declined to comment on the number of militants killed in the operations that followed, PTI reports. Army sources in Delhi revealed that ten terrorists were killed in the encounter with the army in the Uri sector.

Internal angle

Army investigators are also considering the possibility of the Pakistani militants being guided to the attack site by someone familiar with the layout of the 12 Infantry Brigade headquarters and the exact location of troops.

According to sources, the militants were even aware of the location of the office and residence of the brigade commander, Indian Express reports.

The focus of the investigation is also on the route from Sukhdar – a small settlement of about 500 people about four kilometres from the brigade headquarters – which may have been used by the militants to enter Uri.

Sources said the terrorists first breached the Line of Control fencing and then the main fencing of the brigade headquarters, which have led the investigators to consider an internal angle in the Uri attack.

“It is very difficult to sneak inside the brigade headquarters because it is a heavily guarded and fortified complex. Only people with complete knowledge could have managed to get inside the camp without being noticed,” sources said.

Response of US Congress

Even as Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is trying to gain support in the UN general assembly for the country over Kashmir, according to Hindustan Times, two US lawmakers introduced a bill in the US Congress on Tuesday proposing to designate Islamabad a state sponsor of terrorism.

Pakistan may, however, still escape the terror tag.

“Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the US for years,” chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Ted Poe, said in a statement announcing the introduction of the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act.

If enacted, the Bill will require the president to give a report to Congress within 90 days on whether Pakistan had supported international terrorism, or not. Within 30 days thereafter, the secretary of state will either determine Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, or convey why not.

“It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism,” Poe said.

He, however, did not cite Pakistan’s role in the Uri attack – as alleged by New Delhi – among the reasons for introducing the bill.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)