Srinagar: Army on Monday instituted an enquiry into one of the bloodiest attacks in years on its camp at Uri as preliminary investigations suggested the militants had entered the area at least a day before mounting the brazen assault.
Official sources said the enquiry, to be completed in a time bound manner, will suggest measures to prevent such attacks in future as “Pakistani-based groups were indulging more in shallow infiltration”.
According to sources, shallow infiltration means when militants cross the Line of Control and target the first available army camp or security establishment.
The suspicion about JeM militants having entered the LoC a day before arose from the fact that they had beards which were not a day old as fidayeen (suicide) squads are clean shaven generally, the source said.
They said the inquiry will look into all possible lapses that could have led to the attack and ascertain whether it could have been prevented. It will also suggest preventive measures needed to be employed, including realignment of forces around army installations near the LoC.
The toll in the attack has risen to 18 with one more armyman succumbing to injuries.
Heavily armed suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed militants from Pakistan had yesterday stormed the army base killing 17 personnel and wounding 20.
India had reacted strongly to the deadliest attack on the Army in Jammu and Kashmir in quarter-century-old insurgency that sparked an outrage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemning it.
“We strongly condemn the cowardly terror attack in Uri. I assure the nation that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished,” Modi had said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who yesterday called an emergency meeting in Delhi, had pointed an accusing finger directly at Pakistan, dubbing it as a “terrorist state” which should be isolated. BJP general secretary and its pointsman for Jammu and Kashmir Ram Madhav said days of strategic restraint are over and suggested that “for one tooth, the complete jaw” should be the policy after the attack.
A team of National Investigation Agency is likely to visit Uri to take a stock of the situation. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and top officials of the ministries of Home and Defence, paramilitary forces and chiefs of intelligence agencies briefed the Home Minister on the latest situation in the Kashmir Valley as well as along the Line of Control, official sources said. Parrikar and General Suhag had visited Kashmir yesterday hours after the attack.
The top officials of the Union government went into a huddle discussing possible strategies to deal with fresh challenges arising from the attack on the Army Brigade Headquarters, located along the LoC, the sources said.
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, who has postponed his visit to Srinagar, also attended the meeting.
The Home Minister, Defence Minister and the top officials also reviewed the security situation across the country, particulary along the western border – from Punjab to Gujarat, the sources said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who yesterday called an emergency meeting in Delhi, had pointed an accusing finger directly at Pakistan, dubbing it as a “terrorist state” which should be isolated.
BJP general secretary and its point-man for Jammu and Kashmir Ram Madhav said days of strategic restraint are over and suggested that “for one tooth, the complete jaw” should be the policy after the attack.