Srinagar: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has been informed that a "war-like" situation has developed along the Line-of-Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and security has been stepped up in the wake of an increase in incidents of infiltration from Pakistan following the militant attack at an army base in Uri that left 18 soldiers dead.
"It is a war-like situation here at the LoC in Uri. Even the movement of police personnel towards the LoC has been stopped and the constant mortar-shelling has been witnessed here for the past four days. Even Pakistan has evacuated people from a large area facing the Uri sector and is carrying out security drills," said a senior police official in Srinagar.
In a review of the situation, conducted by Mufti, the chief minister was informed by the police top brass that heightened militant activity has been witnessed from across the LoC in Kupwara and Uri. After Sunday’s militant attack at the Uri army base, constant shelling has been witnessed along the LoC and the exchange of fire has continued even during the night. The army has said that at least four infiltration bids have been foiled from across the LoC along the Nowgam sector in Kupwara and Uri for the last past four days.
Defence spokesman Rajesh Kalia said that the vigil has been stepped up along the LoC following the Uri militant attack. According to sources, there have been constant attempts by the militants to sneak inside. Two boys from Pakistan who have also crossed to this side have also been apprehended by the security agencies and questioning about their involvement in the militant activity is underway.
On Tuesday afternoon, the army had intercepted a group of militants at Bijhama in Uri and though there were initial inputs that 10 militants were killed however search operations still continue in the area and not a single body has been recovered as of now. Along the Nowgam sector in Kupwara source said that besides the death of one army jawan, Madan Lal, a militant was also killed but the body has not been recovered as of now.
"The search operations continue at both Nowgam and Uri," said Kalia.
Director General of Police, Law and Order, SP Vaid, said the Pakistani troops have occupied vantage positions at different places along the LoC in Uri due to which Uri has seen a stepped up militant activity.
“The Uri area is surrounded by a mountain range and the peaks have been occupied by the Pakistani troopers due to which militants get the advantage of sneaking inside," he said.
According to sources even as a large area of LoC remains fenced and the army has set up IEDs near the fence to prevent the infiltration of militants into the Indian side, the militants are trying to sneak into this side through the ravines and drains.
"A large area of the LoC remains fenced but there are some areas which remain porous from where the militants are trying to sneak inside," said a senior official.
Security officials are apprehending that in case the infiltration attempts go up and some militants manage to sneak in the attacks on security installations within Kashmir will go up.
"Certainly the militant attacks have gone up. But handling the attacks inside and constant pounding along the border will be a tough challenge in the region particularly when the movement of militants in protest hit areas has increased," said a senior army official in Srinagar, adding however that forces are fully geared up to deal with the situation.