Srinagar: Mobile and internet services remained shut for the second consecutive day in Uri area of North Kashmir, where security officials believed an infiltration attempt was made by suspected militants days ago.
For the first time, the authorities have severed communication services in the wake of an infiltration bid triggering panic among the residents. A senior Army official said that they launched an operation in the region after suspecting the infiltration bid.
The fresh reports of infiltration bid come less than a week after security forces foiled another attempt along the LoC in Gurez sector of Bandipora where a cache of arms and ammunition was recovered. On Monday, Lt. Gen DP Pandey, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of valley-based Chinar Corps, said there had been a few infiltration attempts but those were hardly successful.
“There have been some attempts unlike previous years which have not been adequately supported. Only about two attempts have succeeded and one was neutralised in Bandipora and we are looking into the second one, which has been going on for about the last 24 hours. We are looking for the infiltrators to find if they are on this side or have gone back after making the attempt,” he said.
Lt Gen Pandey spoke on the sidelines of a function in Srinagar where he felicitated students of the first and second batch of the region’s Super 30 (Medical) for clearing NEET exams. He added that no ceasefire violation has been reported along the Line of Control (LoC), especially after the ceasefire agreement was restored.
“We are totally prepared for any ceasefire violation; if anything happens, we are set to respond appropriately, but there has been no instigation from across the border,” the officer said.
A local of Uri said that the communication services were snapped on Monday, following which he travelled to Srinagar. “The mobile and internet stopped working at about 1:30 pm and continue to remain severed on Tuesday,” he said, wishing to maintain anonymity.
According to PRO Defense Colonel Emron Mousavi, the search operation by the armed forces continues in Uri, about 100 km from Srinagar. Incidentally, the suspected incursion coincides with the fifth anniversary of the deadly Uri attack in which as many as 19 Indian soldiers were killed. This incident had prompted the so called “surgical strike” as a response from the Indian side ten days later.
India and Pakistan, however, agreed to strictly observe the ceasefire along the Line of Control in February this year. This came after the region witnessed a spike in the cross-border firing leading to deaths of soldiers as well as civilians on both sides of the de-facto border, especially in the aftermath of abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A of the Constitution.