Tensions on the border between India and Pakistan continued to escalate on Tuesday with the Indian Army losing one soldier, foiling at least two infiltration attempts while several militants were killed. The Army also accused Pakistani troops of firing at its post.
The developments came a day ahead of the first meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet following the terrorist attack on an army camp in Uri on Sunday in which 18 soldiers were killed.
A jawan killed as the army foiled two infiltration bids in the Uri and Nowgam sectors. The attempts to cross the Line of Control (LoC) came even as Pakistani troops violated ceasefire and fired at Indian positions in Uri sector.
“Two infiltration bids by militants from across the Line of Control(LoC) have been foiled in Uri and Nowgam sectors today. At both places the operations are in progress,” an army spokesman said in Srinagar. The spokesman refused to comment on the number of militants killed in the ongoing operations so far.
Army sources in Delhi, who had initially put the number of terrorists killed in the Uri infiltration attempt at 10-12, later clarified that the extent of casualties could be ascertained only after the retrieval of the bodies from the dense jungles, and that the operations were still underway.
The terror attack on the Army base at Uri and the two anti-infiltration operations by the Army on Tuesday likely to dominate the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday and indications are that the Cabinet Committee on Security could hold a separate meeting on the situation.
Sources said the Cabinet Committee will meet on Wednesday morning ahead of the meeting of the Union Cabinet. The Uri attack which led to the death of 18 soldiers will figure in the meeting.
Army sources said soldiers manning the Line of Control (LoC) had spotted a group of infiltrators near Lachipora jungles in the Uri Sector of Baramulla district on Tuesday morning. According to the sources, the Pakistan army had fired at an Army post in a bid to provide cover to the infiltrating militants. Unconfirmed reports suggested loud explosions of mortar shells accompanied small arm fire in the area.
A Srinagar-based Army spokesman confirmed to The Hindu that Pakistan had violated the ceasefire in the area. “An infiltration bid by 10 to 12 militants has also been foiled,” said Army spokesman Colonel Manoj Kumar.
In a separate infiltration bid in Kupwara’s Nowgam sector, one soldier died as the Army foiled an infiltration bid, the Army said.
Army sources said both groups may have moved across the Line of Control in the past 24 hours, hours after four terrorists stormed the Uri army base on Sunday, killing 18 soldiers.