Baramulla, Nov 16: The security forces on Thursday said that the killing of terrorists, including the commander in the Uri operation in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district – a mastermind behind the infiltration attempts across the Line of Control (LoC), would lead to a decline in infiltration attempts.
The commander had been active for three decades and was involved in numerous infiltration attempts across the LoC, according to the Army’s top official.
In a joint press conference held at the 19 Infantry Division headquarters in Baramulla, Raghav, the Army’s Commanding Officer overseeing the Uri sector, as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that Operation Kali in Uri was successful as it led to the killing of the launching commander Bashir Ahmed Malik from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), who had been active for more than three decades. The operation was intelligence-based, using information from their sources and the Special Bureau in Srinagar, he said.
Raghav said that upon receiving the inputs, the Indian Army’s counterintelligence and surveillance grid were strengthened, and joint deployment parties were positioned in the general area. “The suspicious movement of terrorists was spotted across the Line of Control (LoC) in the early hours of November 15, which was continuously tracked by surveillance. As soon as the terrorists crossed the LoC, they were engaged in a firefight, leading to the recovery of two terrorist bodies after a detailed search of the area,” he said.
“There are many casualties, and the exact number is not known due to the area’s proximity to the Line of Control. However, so far, two terrorists’ bodies have been recovered, along with warlike stores, including two AK series rifles, two pistols, four hand grenades, ammunition, medical supplies, edibles, Pakistani currency, and identity documents,” the Commanding Officer of Uri’s 8 Rashtriya Rifles said. SP Operations Baramulla, Divya was also present.
The two neutralized infiltrators, identified as Bashir Ahmed Malik and Ahmed Gani Sheikh, were associated with several terrorist agencies, the Army commander said, adding that Bashir, active for three decades and supported by the adversary, played a crucial role in cross-border terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
“He was a launching commander of PoJK, facilitating infiltration across the LoC. His activeness in infiltration activities has resulted in the loss of a significant number of Indian citizens, including soldiers,” the Army official said, adding that Malik’s killing is a “severe blow to the terror infrastructure across the Line of Control and its sympathizers”.
Despite the onset of winter, infiltration attempts haven’t reduced, indicating the adversary’s desperation and terrorist organizations’ determination to disrupt peace in the Valley, according to Raghav.
“The Indian Army won’t allow any breach of the Line of Control. We are well-prepared to thwart any nefarious designs of the adversary or any terrorist organization to create trouble in the Valley,” he affirmed, adding, “The operation is the testimony of the synergy between the security and the intelligence in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a mark of professionalism, courage, selfless service and valour of the brave soldiers.”
Responding to a question about how the commander’s killing would impact security establishments along the LoC, the officer said that Bashir’s killing would reduce the number of infiltration attempts, as he was overseeing the Leepa region to areas opposite Rajouri in the South. “The killed commander was associated with several terrorist agencies, and his death serves as a deterrent to the enemies in the future,” he said.
In a press release, the Army reiterated that Operation Kali was a successful joint operation executed by the Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police along the Line of Control in the Uri Sector on November 15, 2023.
This operation eliminated a terrorist infiltration bid, marking the second attempt in the same area, following the successful elimination of the previous attempt, a defence spokesperson said in a statement.
The joint operation, based on specific intelligence from internal and Special Bureau sources, involved strengthening counterintelligence and surveillance grids, deploying ambush teams, and engaging infiltrating terrorists in a firefight, he said, adding that the operation resulted in the neutralization of two terrorists, with recoveries including weapons, ammunition, medicines, edibles, and currency.
“The salient aspect of this operation is the neutralization of Bashir Ahmed Malik, one of the two terrorists killed. He was an important cog in the Pakistan-enabled cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, and an important terrorist launch commander for terror tanzeems from Leepa in the North to the areas in PoJ&K opp Rajouri in the South. He has enabled the infiltration of countless terrorists across the Line of Control, which has resulted in the loss of lives of many Indian citizens, both in and out of the uniform. His neutralization is a major blow dealt by us to the terror infrastructure across the line of control and its sympathizers and supporters,” the spokesperson said.
“The repeated infiltration attempts through the same area in Uri sector display the desperation of our adversary to push more terrorists into the Kashmir Valley to spoil the prevailing peace and tranquillity,” he said, adding, “We have a robust line of control security grid and on a high vigil. The Indian Army is well prepared to defeat any such infiltration attempts and we will not let the enemy succeed with his devious designs.”—(KNO)