Uri 'operation' ends as seven militants killed, one caught alive, says Army
The arrested Pakistani militant (left) and arms, ammunition (right) recovered during the Army's 'operation' in Uri

URI — The Army on Tuesday claimed to have carried out a successful anti-militancy operation in a period of nine days along the Line of Control in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir by killing seven heavily armed militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit and capturing another one live in the area.

Addressing a press conference at Uri, General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Baramulla-based Army’s 19 Infantry Division, Virendra Vats, according to the news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that the operation started on September 18, when alert troops detected the infiltration movement, following which an encounter broke out while more reinforcement was mobilized.

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“The infiltrating group comprised six infiltrators and two of them managed to sneak into the Indian side while four others went back, taking advantage of darkness. Two militants who were in the process of crossing the fence sneaked into this side and once we realized all this, additional forces were mobilized but given the civilian population, maximum restraint was exercised to avoid any collateral damage during the operation. All this happened on the night of September 18,” he said.

The GoC also said that two of the infiltrators were holed up in a Nallah at Salamabad and the contact was established again on September 25 and one of them was killed on the September 26 morning, while another one pleaded to spare his life and he was accordingly apprehended.

“The apprehended militant identified himself as Ali Babar Patra, 19, son of Late Muhammad Lateef, resident of Dipalpur district in Okara of Punjab Pakistan. He has admitted that he was the member of LeT and was trained by the outfit,” the GoC said.

Given the recoveries made from the slain militants, the GoC said that it is quite possible that these infiltrators had come here for some kind of major strike which seems beyond the weapon supply drop.

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“This infiltration attempt was made in the area of Salamabad Nallah, this is the same area through which we have had a history of infiltration in 2016 that is when a suicide attack on Uri Garrison took place,” the GoC said.

He said that it has also been revealed that this infiltration group was supported by the Pakistani side by three porters who had come to the LoC along with supplies.

“What we have also seen is that there has been a lot of movement in the launch pads across the LoC. An infiltration was also made when three militants were neutralized in the neighboring area recently, which shows the desperation of the neighbouring country whenever there is peace and stability in Kashmir,” the Army officer said.

He claimed that in the last seven days, seven militants have been neutralized and one has been apprehended and five of these neutralizations have taken place near the Line of Control.

“The major recoveries that have taken place include 7 AK series rifles, 9 pistols and revolvers and more than 80 different kinds of grenades and some Pakistani and Indian currency,” the GoC 19 Infantry division said and added that the operation was over in the area now.

Uri Operation: Apprehended militant hopes to see his mother back home in Pakistan soon

The 19-year-old militant, who was apprehended at Salamabad Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Tuesday, said that he was hopeful to see his mother back home in Pakistan one day.

Ali Babar Patra, aged 19, son of Lt. Muhammad Haneef, a resident of Okara district in the Punjab region in Pakistan was apprehended by the Indian Army during a nine-day long counter-militancy operation at Salamabad Uri in which seven militants were killed.

In an interview with the reporters at Uri brigade, the apprehended infiltrator as per news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that he attained the arms training in Muzaffarabad back in 2019 for around three weeks and was recalled by one of the LeT commanders, saying that he was to take part in an important operation un-known to him in April in the ensuing year.

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He said that he has a mother and elder sister at home while his father passed away a couple of years ago and they have no one other than him to earn for living and survival. “I am hopeful to see my mother and sister back home in Pakistan one day soon,” Ali said.

Babar stated that no infiltrator can cross the Line of Control (LoC) without support from across the border, saying that it is impossible to cross the massive cover of the two armies on the LoC.

He said that his group was tasked to enter Kashmir through the route they sneaked in and remain in the Baramulla district at Pattan area. “We were told to reach Pattan and the LeT handler there will get in touch with us (the infiltrator’s group) and that he will give directions about the plans ahead,” he revealed.

Babar said that they were told by handlers on leaving that their immediate task is to motivate the local youth of Kashmir valley and get them in their folds.

About the communication, he revealed that they have a device through which they send voice SMS directly and the directions are issued in the same medium to carry out the tasks given to them.

The apprehended militant claimed to have attained the arms training along with nine others and he was the youngest among them and was chosen by one of the handlers for this particular operation earlier this year to drop the supplies in north Kashmir and to motivate local youth.

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