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Santosh Mahadik killing: Army calls off one of its longest anti-terror ops

Calling off the operation – launched on Nov.13 following a tip-off – has raised many questions than answers over the fate of militants who the security forces believed were hiding in the jungles.

Indian army has called off one of the longest anti-terror operations in the high-altitude Manigah forests in the border district of Kupwara. In a month-long operation, security forces killed one militant of the group responsible for the killing of Colonel Santosh Mahadik, the commanding officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles who was leading the operation against the militants in the forests on November 17. Another militant of the group was found dead in the jungle probably due to the cold weather. Calling off the operation – launched on Nov.13 following a tip-off – has raised many questions than answers over the fate of militants who the security forces believed were hiding in the jungles.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Let army explain what they achieved. Public and even soldiers were subjected to lot of inconvenience. Other than satisfying their egos did it serve any purpose,” asked Langate MLA and president of Awami Itihaad Party, Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid. While senior superintendent of police, Kupwara, Ajaz Ahmad said the operation has been called off and siege lifted completely, Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar, said “it has been scaled down, but cordon and search will continue.” Admitting that habitat area was affected, Joshi said “the people can now move freely”. Ajaz Ahmad said two militants have been killed in the operation. Surrounded by mountains and dense forests, Manigah is a bowl with huge rocks and thick foliage, which helped the militants though the forces had choppers and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to its advantage.

Gunfire battle ensues in Tangdhar region as terrorists attack army camp near LoC

Srinagar: Militants on Wednesday attacked an Army camp in Tangdhar sector near the Line of Control (LoC) using small arms and under barrel grenade launchers. No casualties have been reported so far.

“There was a stand off fire from Kalsuri Ridge (in Tangdhar sector) towards an army camp this morning,” an army official said.

Representational image. Image courtesy: PTIRepresentational image. Image courtesy: PTI

Representational image. PTI

He said there was a brief lull before the militants opened fire again, triggering off a gunbattle, which was going on till last reports came in.

The official said the militants seem to be heavily armed as they used small fire arms and UBGLs to carry out the attack. “So far there are no casualties reported,” he added.

Tangdhar sector is close to the LoC in Kupwara district and has been used as an infiltration route in the past.

The official said it was not yet clear whether the militants were part of infiltrating group. “That is a matter of investigation. We can comment on it only after the operation is over,” he added.

PTI

Four militants killed in two encounters in Kashmir

Srinagar: Four unidentified militants were killed on Monday in two separate encounters with security forces in Kupwara and Anantnag districts of Kashmir, officials said in Srinagar.

Three militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Asghmuqam area of Anantnag district this afternoon, an army official said.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The gunbattle started when militants opened fire on security force personnel who had cordoned off Siligam village to carry out a search operation, the official said.

He said the search operation was still in progress while the identity of the slain militants was being ascertained.

In a separate operation in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, which entered its 11th day on Sunday, the security forces killed one militant while efforts were on to flush out his accomplices, the official said.

The unidentified militant was killed in the encounter in the dense forests of Manigah, where Colonel Santosh Mahadik was killed last week, he said.

Security forces are continuing a massive search operation in the forest near the Line of Control (LoC) since 13 November following information about presence of a group of heavily-armed militants.

On 17 November, an encounter between the militants and the security forces left Colonel Mahadik, Commanding Officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles, dead.

In another exchange of fire on Sunday, two army personnel including a Lt Colonel were injured in the district yesterday.

PTI

Militants strike again, injures Lt Colonel of the army in Kupwara forests

A Lieutenant Colonel of the army was injured when fresh gun battle broke between the militants and search party of the troops inside the Manigah forests on Sunday.

A joint team of the Indian army and the police launched the cordon and search operation to hunt down the ultras.
Representational Image
PTI
Wounds of Colonel Santosh Mahadik’s death were still fresh when militants attacked once again injuring a Lieutenant Colonel rank officer of the Indian army in the Manigah forests in border district of Kupwara on Sunday. Thousands of troops backed by helicopters are combing the dense forests to flush out the hiding ultras even as the operation entered into the tenth day on Sunday.A Lieutenant Colonel of the army was injured when fresh gun battle broke between the militants and search party of the troops inside the Manigah forests on Sunday. “One lieutenant colonel of 160 Territorial Army (TA) has been injured in the gun battle but he is out of danger,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior superintendent of police, Kupwara, Ajaz Ahmad told dna that the operation is continuing in the forest area against the militants. This is the same forest area where Colonel Mahadik, the commanding officer of 41 Rashtriya Riffles (RR) was killed by the militants on November 17.The operation was launched on November 13 after the security forces got a tip off about the presence of militants in the jungles. A joint team of the Indian army and the police launched the cordon and search operation to hunt down the ultras.Indian army later rushed in reinforcements to the area which includes men from the Special Forces to track down the ultras. Choppers too have been pressed into service to trace the ultras. However so far no ultra has been killed.Manigah is a bowl surrounded by the mountains and forests. There are rocks and thick foliage in the jungles. Besides ultras, security forces have to battle the poor visibility and inclement weather conditions given the high altitude area.Security forces suspect that the militants are still hiding in the area under the cover of rocky caves and dense foliage. That is why they have cordoned off around five square kilometre area to plug all the holes so that the ultras are unable to escape.”Temperatures are dropping fast and they cannot sustain for long. Our troops are zeroing in and we will get them soon,” said an officer.

Jammu and Kashmir: Senior army officer injured in encounter with militants in Kupwara

The official said a brief exchange of firing took place between the two sides even as reinforcements of security forces were rushed to the area to prevent the militants from escaping.

This is second incident of an army officer getting hit in an anti-militancy operation in Kashmir within a week. (Representational Image)

A senior army officer was on Sunday injured in an encounter with militants in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, officials said. Security forces had launched a search operation in Bhawan village in Zachaldara area of Handwara last night following information about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said.The official said a brief exchange of firing took place between the two sides even as reinforcements of security forces were rushed to the area to prevent the militants from escaping. “An officer of the rank of Lt Colonel has been injured in the encounter in Handwara area of Kupwara today,” an army official said. He said the officer has been evacuated to the Drugmulla Military Hospital where his condition is said to be “stable”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is second incident of an army officer getting hit in an anti-militancy operation in Kashmir within a week. Colonel Santosh Mahadik was killed in an operation against militants in Kupwara on Wednesday. The firing resumed this morning and was going on intermittently till reports last came in, the official said.

Guerilla hideout busted in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu: Security forces on Sunday busted a guerrilla hideout in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, said the police.

Security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. PTISecurity personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. PTI

Representative image. PTI

“Security forces comprising the 39 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operations Group (SOG) busted a militant hideout in Mendhar area of Poonch district today (Sunday),” a police officer said.

A pistol with magazine, 61 pistol rounds, 105 rounds of AK-47, one AK-47 magazine, four Chinese grenades and one radio set were recovered from the site, he said adding that there were no arrests.

IANS

Army officer injured in a gunfight with militants in Kupwara, say police

Srinagar: A senior officer of the Indian Army was on Sunday seriously injured in a gunfight with separatist guerrillas in a forest area in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district, police said.

“In a continuing operation against a group of militants hiding in Wanigah forest area of Kupwara district, Lieutenant Colonel S.K. Natt, second in command of the 162 battalion of the Territorial Army sustained serious injuries today (Sunday),” a police officer said.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The officer was taken to hospital for specialised treatment, and the operation against the militants has been intensified, he said. Colonel Santosh Mahadik was killed last week in the same operation that has been continuing for nearly a fortnight now.

A group of heavily armed guerrillas are reportedly hiding in the dense Wanigah forest near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara, after they infiltrated into the Indian side from Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

The army has intensified the operation employing para-commandos and helicopters to tighten the cordon around the guerrillas after the death of Colonel Mahadik.

IANS

Army colonel from Maharashtra falls to militants’ bullets in Kashmir

Hailing from Satara in Maharashtra, Colonel Mahadik and his team was chasing a group of militants in the thick forests when they came under a barrage of firing.

Col Santosh Mahadik

Colonel Santosh Mahadik’s name was enough to send shivers down the militants in the border district of Kupwara. A highly-decorated commando, Colonel Mahadik, commanding officer of the 41 Rashtriya Riffles (RR), led several anti-militant operations in his tenure before falling to the bullets at Manigah forest area on Tuesday. Hailing from Satara in Maharashtra, Colonel Mahadik and his team was chasing a group of militants in the thick forests when they came under a barrage of firing. Leading from the front, Colonel Mahadik fought bravely against the militants before he was hit by a bullet causing him grievous wounds. He was airlifted to the army’s 92-base hospital in Srinagar where he succumbed to his wounds.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A trained commando of the elite 21 Para (Special Forces) of the Indian army, Colonel Mahadik had conducted several anti-terror operations thus breaking the backbone of the militants across the spectrum. “Colonel Mahadik made the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. He was a true soldier and had conducted many successful counter-terrorist operations. Originally from the special forces, the officer was earlier awarded Sena Medal for exhibiting gallantry and leadership in counter terrorist operations,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar . In fact, the operation against the militants in the forest area of Kupwara had been going on since Friday when the troops received inputs about the presence of heavily armed ultras in the jungles. A joint operation was launched by army and the Jammu and Kashmir police to track down the ultras. In the initial gun fight two security forces personnel were injured. On Tuesday, Colonel Mahadik led a group of troopers deep into the jungles to hunt down the hiding militants. As they were tightening the noose, militants opened fire in which two security force men including CO and a cop were injured. Later Colonel Mahadik died in the hospital. Colonel Mahadik is survived by wife and two children aged eleven and five years. Lieutenant General DS Hooda, general officer commanding-in-chief (GOC-in-C) Northern Command expressed deep condolences on the loss of the brave officer. “We owe a deep debt of gratitude to officers like Santosh who lead from the front and are willing to pay the ultimate price in the fight against terrorism,” Lt Gen Hooda said. Colonel Mahadik is the second top ranking army officer to die fighting militants this year. On January 27, Colonel Munindra Nath Rai, the commanding officer of 42 RR, was killed while leading an anti-terror operations in Tral area of south Kashmir. Colonel Rai died just a day after he was honoured with Yudh Seva Medal for his exemplary bravery in the war against militancy.

One jawan injured in grenade attack by militants in Kupwara

Window panes of at least three vehicles of the Army, parked there, were also broken due to the explosion.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
An Army jawan was injured on Wednesday in a grenade attack by militants on a picket in Kupwara town of north Kashmir, police said.Some unidentified militants hurled a grenade on a bunker of 41 Rashtriya Rifles at old bus stand in the town, about 90 kms from here, around 1440 hours, a police officer said. He said the grenade exploded near the picket causing minor injuries to a jawan who has been shifted to Drugmulla Army hospital.Window panes of at least three vehicles of the Army, parked there, were also broken due to the explosion, the officer said, adding a hunt was launched to nab the militants.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Around 1150 militants in training camps in Pakistan, PoK: Indian Army

Up to 1150 militants are in about 17 training camps in Pakistan and parts of Kashmir under its occupation and about 325 ultras are at launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC) waiting to sneak in, a top Army commander said in Srinagar on Tuesday.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
Up to 1150 militants are in about 17 training camps in Pakistan and parts of Kashmir under its occupation and about 325 ultras are at launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC) waiting to sneak in, a top Army commander said in Srinagar on Tuesday.”As per our intelligence inputs, there are about 17 terrorist training camps in Pakistan and PoK put together. Out of that, nine are opposite the 15 Corps zone. Four each in Manshera which is in Pakistan and Muzaffarabad.”Total strength of terrorists in these camps is anything between 1000 to 1150,” General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 corps Lt Gen Satish Dua told reporters in Srinagar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that there are 23 different launch pads on the other side closer to the LoC having strength of 315 to 325 militants waiting for opportunity to sneak in. There is a bulge in the militants in the launch pads because they are unable to get across, Gen Dua said.”Whenever they have tried an infiltration bid, it has always been foiled or the militants have been eliminated. So, what is happening is that their numbers are swelling up but they are unable to get across,” the Army commander said.Lt Gen Dua said the militants have become desperate as their masters want them to do “something”.”So much so that they are under pressure from their masters to do something and several times they just try and sneak in and attempt is to just target either civilian or military targets very close to the LoC and then go back,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir: Encounter between militants and security forces in Pulwama

Reinforcements have been rushed to the area to flush out the militants.

Hiding militants lobbed a grenade and fired on the search party, triggering a gunbattle, the police (Representational Image)

An encounter broke out between militants and security forces at a village about 35 kms from here in Pulwama district this evening, police said. The encounter in Kawini village erupted when security forces launched a search and cordon operation following specific information about presence of militants there, the police said. Hiding militants lobbed a grenade and fired on the search party, triggering a gunbattle, the police.No one was hurt in the militant attack, police said. Reinforcements have been rushed to the area to flush out the militants. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Infiltration bid along LoC foiled by army in north Kashmir, two terrorists killed

Srinagar: The army on Friday foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez sector in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, killing two militants.

“An infiltration bid has been foiled in Gurez. Two terrorists have been killed,” defence spokesman Lt Col N N Joshi said.

Representational image. Image courtesy: PTIRepresentational image. Image courtesy: PTI

Representational image. Image courtesy: PTI

He said that post midnight, the alert troops posted on guard duty along the LoC intercepted the militants while they were trying to sneak into the Valley from across the border.

“An encounter erupted and during the exchange of fire, two terrorists were killed,” Joshi said.

The spokesman said two AK-47 rifles have been recovered from the site of the encounter. “The search operation is going on,” he said.

The identity of the militants has not been ascertained so far, the spokesman said.

PTI

Real-life Phantom kills 10 terrorists in 11 days, dies fighting in Kashmir Valley

Standing out for his toughness in an elite unit, an Indian army commando proved his mettle with three consecutive, anti-terrorist missions in the Kashmir Valley in which he gunned down 10 militants and captured one before laying down his life – but not before ensuring the operation was a success, a defence official said on Saturday.

Life may be imitating art here. In his latest movie, Phantom, Saif Ali Khan goes and kills several militants before laying down his life. The movie was banned in Pakistan.

“Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami, a Special Forces Commando of the Indian Army has created a unique history of valour and dedication to duty by eliminating 10 terrorists in 11 days before laying down his life in service of the nation in Kashmir Valley,” defence spokesman of the Army’s Northern Command, Colonel S.D. Goswami said.

“He volunteered to join the elite para commando outfit of the Indian Army in 2002 and went on to gain the reputation of being one of the toughest soldiers of his unit — no small feat in an outfit that boasts of being one among the best in the world.”

Representative image. ReutersRepresentative image. Reuters

Representative image. Reuters

“In the last 11 days, he was actively involved in three counter-terrorism operations in the Kashmir Valley, in which 10 terrorists were eliminated and one captured alive.”

“The first operation was conducted in Khurmur, Handwara, on August 23. The operation resulted in elimination of three hardcore LeT terrorists of Pakistan-origin,” he said.

“He volunteered for a second back-to-back operation in Rafiabad, Kashmir. The operation was conducted over two days on August 26-27. It witnessed a fierce gunfight that led to the elimination of three more LeT terrorists.”

“The LeT terrorist, Sajjad Ahmad alias Abu Ubed Ullah, resident of Muzzafargarh, Pakistan was captured alive in this operation,” the colonel said.

“Lance Naik Goswami, once again, volunteered to be part of an ongoing operation launched in the dense Hafruda forest near Kupwara, Kashmir, on September 3,” he said.

“This proved to be his last operation but not before elimination of four terrorists in a heavy gunbattle. A true soldier, he breathed his last in action.”

The mortal remains of the braveheart commando, who hailed from Indira Nagar village in Nainital district of uttarakhand, were flown by an Indian Air Force aircraft to Bareilly from where his body will be taken by an army helicopter to Pantnagar and onward to his native place where he will be cremated with full military honours.

Goswami is survived by his wife and a 7-year-old daughter.

IANS

Security forces, militants engage in gun battle in Baramulla

He said as the security forces were conducting search, militants fired upon them, triggering an encounter.

An encounter broke out between security forces and militants in Baramulla district of north Kashmir today, police said.On specific information about the presence of militants in Rafiabad area of the district, security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation at 7 am, a police official said.He said as the security forces were conducting search, militants fired upon them, triggering an encounter.The official said according to intelligence reports, two militants belonging to Lashker-e-Islam (LeI) are believed to be holed up at the encounter site.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of the holed up militants is believed to be Imtiyaz Ahmad Kandoo, a close aide of Qayoom Najar.Both Najar and Kandoo are believed to have defied the command of Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin and have been operating under the shadow name of LeI outfit.Both the militants carry a bounty of Rs 10 lakh each on their heads.They are accused of killing six persons, including separatist activists and former militants in Sopore town.

Jammu and Kashmir: 1 militant dead after fierce gun battle between security forces, terrorists

Indian security forces were engaged in two fierce gun battles today at different locations near LOC.

Indian security forces were engaged in two fierce gun battles today at different locations near LOC.

File Photo
A militant was gunned down while a soldier got injured in fierce gun battles that broke out between militants and security forces in Uri sector near LoC and in Baramulla district of north Kashmir on Wednesday.The exchange of fire near the Line of Control started at around 7.00 am after security forces launched a search operation in Qazinag Dhar area of Uri sector of Baramulla following information about presence of militants there, an army official said.So far, one unidentified militant has been killed in the operation, which was going on till the last reports came in, the official said. He said one AK-47 rifle has been found from the possession of the slain militant, whose identity and group affiliation was yet to be established.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, a fresh encounter between the militants and security forces started at around 4.00 pm in which a soldier was injured, the official said. The encounter took place in Vij village in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district this evening, a police official said. He said the gunbattle erupted when security forces cordoned-off the village after getting information about some militants hiding there.Fierce gunfight was going on between the two sides, the official said adding there was no immediate report of any casualty on the either side.Reinforcements have been rushed to the village to further tighten the security cordon to stop militants from fleeing, the official said.

Encounter breaks out between militants and security forces in Uri in J&K after search operation

Srinagar: An encounter broke out on Wednesday between militants and security forces near the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Representational image. Image courtesy: PTIRepresentational image. Image courtesy: PTI

Representational image. Image courtesy: PTI

The exchange of fire started at around 7 AM after security forces launched a search operation in Qazimar area following information about presence of militants there, an army officer said.

There was no immediate report of any casualties, he said.

PTI

Jammu and Kashmir: Three militants killed in encounter in Kupwara

The encounter began last night after troops launched a search operation in Khumhair forests.

The encounter began last night after troops launched a search operation in Khumhair forests.

Three militants were killed on Sunday in an encounter with the army in Kupwara district of north Kashmir. The encounter began last night after troops launched a search operation in Khumhair forests of Handwara tehsil, 100 kms from here, following information about the presence of the militants, an army official said. “Three terrorists have been killed while one soldier has sustained injuries during the operation,” the official said.He said the identity and group affiliation of the slain militants is being ascertained. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Jammu and Kashmir: Three terrorists killed, one armyman injured in encounter in Handwara

An Army spokesman said the gunfight between the militants and security forces broke out in the forested area of Zachaldara in the Handwara Sector.

Three terrorists have been killed in an encounter on Sunday in north Kashmir’s Handwara .The encounter was launched on Saturday evening. An Armyman has also been injured in the gunbattle.One terrorist is still holed up and a search operation is currently being conducted by the Army, reported ANI.An Army spokesman said the gunfight between the militants and security forces broke out in the forested area of Zachaldara in the Handwara Sector.A cordon and search operation was still on when reports last came in.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Militants kill policeman, civilian in Kashmir’s Baramulla district

Srinagar: Separatist guerrillas on Tuesday gunned down a policeman and a civilian at a shrine in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district, police said.

Militants sprayed bullets at the policeman who was guarding the shrine.

Representational image. APRepresentational image. AP

Representational image. AP

“Militants fired at constable Fayaz Ahmad at the Tujarsharief shrine,” a police officer told IANS. He succumbed to his injuries.

A civilian, Abdul Rahim Lone, 70, was also killed outside the shrine.

The militants fled after the killings. “Reinforcements have been rushed to the area to trace the assailants,” the officer added.

IANS

New age militancy: How the Hizbul Mujahideen is using social media to lure Kashmir’s youth

Militants have taken their popaganda online, in an attempt to recruit youth in Kashmir.

Burhan Wani (centre) is known as the regional commander of Hizbul Mujaheedin

Videos and photos posted on social media and circulated on Whatsapp are increasingly playing a part in the recruitment strategy used by Burhan Wani, the regional commander of the Hizbul Mujaheedin, to lure Kashmiri youth.The militant group is reportedly starting a fresh recruitment drive from August 21, according to a Firstpost report, which adds that the minimum eligibility is clearing Class 10, with Rs 35,000 being promised as salary.Son of a government school principal in Tral, there is a Rs 10 lakh reward for any information on 21-year-old Burhan, who represents the new breed of youth from wealthy families joining the militants, according to an Indian Express report. With different Facebook accounts, websites and pages like Tiger Tral, HM Tral, Burhan Trali, Burhan is reportedly very active on digital platforms and keeps posting images and videos and also uses uses Whatsapp to spread messages.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This may also explain how hundreds of youth turned up for the funeral of Burhan’s brother, who was recently killed by security agencies.The videos being circulated depict young men in combat fatigues walking around and posing with guns or praying. Many don’t even bother to mask their identity. However, police have not been very successful in tracking down the source of the videos and photos released by the militants. The widespread unemployment is one of the reasons why the militants are successful in selling the idea of militancy as a heroic and glamorous profession to youth in the area.

NIA to seek info on Usman from Pakistan

“We have been trying to ascertain facts,” Kumar told reporters in reply to a question about Usman.

National Investigation Agency (NIA) is formally writing to Pakistan seeking information about Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Naveed alias Usman, who was captured alive after Udhampur terror attack, even as the agency is seeking help from different countries to trace the VOIP calls made by the militants.NIA chief Sharad Kumar is in Jammu to interrogate Usman at the joint interrogation centre. Kumar questioned Usman for close to two hours before he left for Udhampur to inspect the spot where the militants attacked the BSF convoy on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have been trying to ascertain facts,” Kumar told reporters in reply to a question about Usman.Sources said NIA will be sending a letter rogatory to Pakistan seeking information about the activities of Naveed alias Usman. So far, Pakistan has been maintaining that Usman is their national.Though NIA does not have any extradition treaty with Pakistan, it is still trying its luck to convince Islamabad to share some details about Usman.During his interrogation, Usman has given details about his residence in Faisalabad in Pakistan. He has also shared details about his family. One of his brothers is said to be a lecturer while another is a businessman dealing in hosiery.Usman’s father, Mohommad Yaqoob, fears for his life from the Pakistani army and militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Yaqoob had told some media people that Lashkar wanted his son dead and not be caught alive.Sources said NIA is also seeking help from different countries to trace out Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calls. Sources said the militants have been using VoIP calls to interact with their handlers in Pakistan.Sources also indicate that NIA is also considering putting Usman to narco-analysis test to extract more information from him. Though he has shared vital information with the NIA, he is dodging on some important issues including his route of infiltration.Sources said either he is not well versed with the geography of the area or he is trying to dodge the interrogators. Therefore, to clear the air, the NIA is considering to conduct a narco-analysis test on Usman.However, no date has been finalised nor has any permission from any court been sought so far.Meanwhile, NIA and Jammu and Kashmir Police have intensified their hunt to nab the mysterious businessman who has paid Rs five lakh to Lashkar commander Abu Dujana, the second in command of the outfit responsible for finances and logistics. Efforts are also on to locate the trucker Showkat Ahmad alias Setha and Tanna, a baker, who arranged shelter for the militants. Sources said Setha’s phone was being used by the militants to escape the glare of the security forces.

Two militants killed in Pulwama district of south Kashmir

The identity and group affiliation of the slain militants is awaited as the search operation is still going on, the police said.

Representational Image

File Photo
Two militants were on Tueday killed in a fierce gunbattle with security forces during an overnight operation in Pulwama district of south Kashmir that left a policeman injured. The encounter also triggered protests in the area with some youths pelting stones at the security forces. Police said the two militants were killed in the paddy fields between Ratnipora and Naru villages, where they were trapped by the search parties early this morning. They said a policeman was also injured in the firefight and was taken to hospital.The identity and group affiliation of the slain militants is awaited as the search operation is still going on, the police said. Acting on specific input about the presence of militants in Ratnipora area of the district, a joint team of police and army cordoned off the area and launched a search operation late yesterday. As the search operation was on, the hiding militants fired upon the security forces. The forces retaliated triggering an encounter, police said. The gunbattle stopped late last night but resumed this morning and ended with the killing of both the militants.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, some youth staged protests in the surrounding areas of Rantipora this morning after the encounter resumed. According to the police, some youth in the surrounding area of the encounter site engaged in minor stone pelting on the security forces.The protests were going on when the last reports came in, police said, adding no one was injured in the clashes.

Militants open fire at security forces in Pulwama, encounter on

An encounter broke out on Monday between militants and security forces in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, police said.

Indian army

File Photo
An encounter broke out on Monday between militants and security forces in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, police said.Acting on specific input about presence of militants in Ratnipora area of the district, a joint team of police and army cordoned off the area and launched a search operation, police said.As the search operation was going on, the hiding militants fired on the security forces, the police said. The security forces retaliated triggering an encounter, they said.The operation was going on till last reports came in, the police said, adding there were no casualty so far in the gunbattle.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Two militants gunned down by security forces in Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district

This is the second encounter between militants and army near the LoC in the district in the last 24 hours.

Army trooper Bashir Ahmad was killed and two other jawans got injured in the gun fight.

Photo Courtesy: Zee Media Bureau
Army today foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Troops noticed a group of militants trying to sneak into this side from across the LoC at Jumagund Nar in Keran sector, an Army officer said.He said the troops challenged the militants who indulged in indiscriminate firing. The troops returned the fire triggering an encounter, the officer said. He said the operation was going on and further details were awaited.This is the second encounter between militants and army near the LoC in the district in the last 24 hours.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the ongoing gunbattle the security forces have managed to gun down two militants in Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district today. According to reports, the search operation is still underway to flush out the militants, who infiltrated last night. Earlier, one Army trooper was killed and two jawans got injured in the operation.

Jammu and Kashmir: Gunbattle near LoC after Army intercepts a group of militants

The militants were asked to surrender but they opened fire, he said, adding the troops retaliated and an encounter started.

Militant encounter

File Photo
Army on Saturday intercepted a group of militants near the Line of Control (LoC) in Tangdhar area of north Kashmir, triggering a gunbattle, army official said. Troops confronted a group of militants moving close to the LoC, an army officer said.The militants were asked to surrender but they opened fire, he said, adding the troops retaliated and an encounter started. The gunbattle was going on when the last reports came in, he said. There was no immediate report of any casuality on either side, he said.The officer said it was not immediately known whether the militants were trying to sneak into this side from across the border. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Gun battle near LoC after army challenges group of militants in Tangdhar sector

Srinagar: Army today intercepted a group of militants near the Line of Control (LoC) in Tangdhar area of north Kashmir, triggering a gun battle, Army said.

Representational image. Reuters.Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

Troops confronted a group of militants moving close to the LoC, an army officer said.

The militants were asked to surrender but they opened fire, he said, adding the troops retaliated and an encounter started.

The gun battle was going on when the last reports came in, he said.

There was no immediate report of any casualty on either side, he said.

The officer said it was not immediately known whether the militants were trying to sneak into this side from across the border.

PTI

Jammu and Kashmir: Suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militant killed in Pulwama encounter

Militants on Thursday attacked a police party deputed to conduct a search operation in a village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. One suspected Lashker-e-Taiba militant was killed in the encounter.

Pulwama encounter

Photo Courtesy: ANI Twitter
Militants on Thursday attacked a police party deputed to conduct a search operation in a village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. One suspected Lashker-e-Taiba militant was killed in the encounter.Special Operations Group (SOG) of local police cordoned off Asthan Mohalla locality of Kakapora, 32 kms from here, around 4.00 pm on receiving specific inputs about militants hiding in a house, a police officer said.He said the militants opened fire on noticing the search party in an attempt to escape. Reinforcements, including Rashtriya Rifles personnels, have been rushed to the area to flush out the militants believed to be trapped there, the officer said adding there was no fresh report of firing so far.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Eight injured in Anantnag grenade attack

Eight people, including four paramilitary soldiers, were injured in the incident.

Militants sent a chilling reminder to the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP-BJP coalition government on Wednesday when they hurled a powerful grenade at a CRPF party deployed for the Amarnath Yatra security duties in Anantnag town of south Kashmir.Eight people, including four paramilitary soldiers, were injured in the incident.This is the second attack in the Anantnag district in the last four days. Militants on Saturday lobbed a powerful grenade at a busy bus stand at Achabal killing an ice-cream vendor and injuring six others including a CRPF constable.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police said militants hurled a grenade at a CRPF Road Opening Party (ROP) of 96 battalion at KP road in the afternoon which exploded injuring eight people including four paramilitary soldiers. The injured were immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment.”Our men were in pickets when militants hurled a grenade. Four of our soldiers were injured. They have been shifted to district hospital Anantnag where their condition is stated to be stable. Four civilians were also injured in the incident,” said Ashish Kumar Jha, CRPF spokesman at Srinagar.Panic gripped the area which was bustling with activities when the explosion ocured. People ran helter-skelter for safety. Police and paramilitary forces immediately reached to the spot and brought the situation under control.Security forces immediately launched a search and cordon operation in the area to track down the ultras responsible for the incident. “We are trying to find out whether the grenade was hurled from the lane or a road divider,” said Jha.The incident occurred five days after summer capital city of Srinagar was rocked by series of grenade blasts injuring a civilian. Three back-to-back attacks were launched on Friday on two mobile company showrooms and a cell phone tower at Karan Nagar and Shaheed Gunj areas in Srinagar.In a separate operation, Indian Army and J&K Police busted a militant hideout at Mugalpura in Kupwara district and recovered large quantity of war like stores.”At around 8.15am on July 28, a hideout was found under the trunk of a tree. The cache recovered include one AK 56 Rifle, Pika Belt without rounds, one Chinese pistol, seven UBGL Grenades, two Pakistani Grenades, two Smoke Grenades, one Chinese Grenade, M-16 Rifle Rounds – 54 and 2 Radio Sets,” said a defence spokesman at Srinagar.

Gurdaspur attack: Two satellite phones only evidence against militants

Senior Superindent of Police GS Toor said, “The militants remained unidentified, as except two GPS mobile satellite phones, nothing could be recovered to identify them.”

A four-member forensic team of the Punjab police arrived here on Tuesday from Mohali, 15 hours after three militants who spread terror in the town on Monday, were shot dead after an encounter lasting over 11 hours.The police have recovered three AK 47 rifles, 19 magazines, one grenade gun, seven unused grenades and 270 rounds of ammunition from the militants. Other evidences were also recovered. The militants were identified as Muslims, with one aged 20 and the other two 24 years of age.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Superindent of Police GS Toor said, “The militants remained unidentified, as except two GPS mobile satellite phones, nothing could be recovered to identify them.”Though the situation in the city seemed normal a day after the gunfight, army helicopters were busy with aerial surveillance. The police were busy reconstructing the whole episode, trying to join the dots.The police also recovered some live grenades from near the police campus, creating panic for sometime.After the forensic experts collected evidence, the bodies were sent for post-mortem at the Gurdaspur civil hospital, where they would be kept for 72 hours. If nobody claims the bodies, they would be handed over to the municipal committee, which would perform the last rites.Talking to dna, a senior district administration officer said: “Yesterday, there were two challenges – to defuse bombs on the railway route to Pathankot and to knock down the militants. Witness accounts were not matching and there was confusion.”He said the reason behind “the attack would always remain a mystery as many theories are coming up.” There are several theories we have heard till now – terror scare before Independence Day, reaction to Yakub Memon’s death sentence, revival of terrorism in Punjab and an attempt to create fear across the nation and to attack Amarnath Yatra. But the real reasons are yet to be confirmed, he said. On the question of drug route being followed by the militants for infiltration, a police officer said: “With GPS devices with them, it is most unlikely.” Describing the sequence of events, he said: “We suspect they started their mission during the intervening night of Sunday-Monday. They first planted bombs on the railway route and entered Dinanagar city. We have got an eyewitness who claims he had seen the three and was suspicious of them, but what puzzles us is why they didn’t kill him. However, minutes later, they fired on a Maruti car owner and hijacked the car and also killed a man, Amarjit, who was preparing his handcart.” The three militants took the car, left it on the road in front of the police station and started firing indiscriminately. They first entered the main building of the police station, where they shot dead the SHO and two home guards, and then fired all over the place. They later took shelter at the old building behind the main building in the same police campus. The police officer added that the militants probably thought that more police officers were resting at the old building and that is why they took shelter there. CCTV camera non-functional The CCTV camera at the Dinanagar police station, where the three militants entered on Monday and killed seven people, was non-functional. As a result, the camera on the left at the entrance of the station could not capture the images of the militants nor the attack. A police officer said: “Complaints were made to higher-ups but no action was taken. Had the camera been functional, it would have provided us with very important evidence.” Meanwhile, footage captured by the CCTV camera of a bank, which was right in front of the police station, was released to the media. It showed the three militants abandoning the hijacked car and entering the police station while firing shots indiscriminately. Injured footing their own bills People who were injured in the militant attack in Dinanagar on Monday are footing their own medical bills. Speaking to dna, Vijay Kumar, father of Sarabjot, one of the injured, said: “The government or district administration hasn’t provided us with any financial support. We are paying ourselves for medicines and hospital bills.” Sarabjot was injured when the militants fired a shot at him while he was riding his bike. His right arm was hit by a bullet and he is now undergoing treatment at Chauhan hospital. Others undergoing treatment for bullet and other injuries also confirmed this.

Gurdaspur attack: No tags on terrorists’ clothes; GPS devices may give clues

There were no markings on the combat uniforms and even innerwears worn by them, official sources said.

Police personnel during an encounter with the militants who attacked a police station at Dinanagar in Gurdaspur district on Monday.

Reuters
The three suspected Lashkar-e- Taiba militants involved in the Gurdaspur terror attacks made every attempt to hide their identity and had even removed tags on their clothes including underwears.There were no markings on the combat uniforms and even innerwears worn by them, official sources said. The terrorists were not carrying any food items except for some loose dryfruits.However, the two GPS devices recovered from the slain terrorists could give an idea of where they had started their journey from before reaching Gurdaspur, the sources said. The terrorists were carrying three AK 47 rifles, several Chinese-made grenades, besides 10 magazines with more than 200 rounds of ammuntion.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Absence of bullet-proof vehicles with Gurdaspur police delayed the final onslaught against the terrorists which became possible only after help arrived from neighbouring Jammu and Kashmir Police.The militants are believed to have crossed over into India from Hira Chak in Jammu, the sources said and ruled out the possibility of their being Sikhs.Also read- Gurdaspur terror attack: Militants likely part of LeT or Jaish-e-Mohammed, says MHA

Militants asks Kashmiri girls to observe purdah or face consequences

Militants have also set a 24 hours deadline for the beauty parlours to shut their businesses or be ready to face the consequences. Written in Urdu on the letter head of Hizbul with a stamp, the threat posters have also warned people against immorality like drug abuse and alcoholism.

Girls beware! Next time you will be seen without purdah (veil), you may have to face the wrath of militants in south Kashmir. Handwritten posters of Hizbul Mujahidin have surfaced in Pulwama town of South Kashmir cautioning the management of schools against not observing purdah by the girl students.Militants have also set a 24 hours deadline for the beauty parlours to shut their businesses or be ready to face the consequences. Written in Urdu on the letter head of Hizbul with a stamp, the threat posters have also warned people against immorality like drug abuse and alcoholism.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We appeal to the management of the schools to ask the girls to observe purdah in Pulwama. We are also giving 24 hours ultimatum to all the beauty parlours to shut their shops. Failing which they shall be responsible for dangerous consequences,” reads the English translation of the Hizbul threat posters.Hizbul militants have also asked the youth to stay away from the “immoral acts” in Pulwama district. “There are people who are addicted to liquor, charas and other drug abuse in Karimabad, Newah, Jadoora, Wahibug and Kalaan villages. We ask these people to stay away from these immoral activities forthwith,” reads the posters.Police have taken the posters very seriously and put the investigation on the fast track to reach to the bottom of the case. “We are looking into it who has pasted these posters. Investigation is on,” Tejinder Singh, senior superintendent of police, Pulwama, told dnaIt is not the first time militants have embarked on a moral policing in Kashmir. Similar Hizbul posters had sprung up in Baramulla in 2013 warning the youth particularly girls against wearing “western clothes, surfing net and watching films and television soaps”.A hitherto unknown militant group “Lashkar al Qaeda” and “al Qaeda Mujahideen” in 2012 had asked Kashmiri girls to observe purdah (veil) and shun using mobile phones or else they will allegedly be “killed or disfigured by acid” in south Kashmir district of Shopian.

Jammu and Kashmir infiltration bid foiled, three militants killed along LoC

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Jammu and Kashmir: One soldier, five militants killed in gun battle across LoC

Srinagar: At least five guerrillas were killed when they tried to sneak into the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, an official said on Saturday. A soldier too was killed in the gunbattle.

The incident took place in the Uri sector of the Baramulla district when Indian troops “noticed suspicious movement on our side of the LoC yesterday (Friday)”.

Image used for representational purposes only. Agency.Image used for representational purposes only. Agency.

Image used for representational purposes only. Agency.

“After being challenged, a group of heavily armed terrorists fired at the troops, triggering a gunfight in which one terrorist was killed yesterday (Friday) and a soldier sustained minor injuries,” a senior army official told IANS.

“Late last evening, four more terrorists were killed, while we also lost one of our soldiers,” the official said. The militants were engaged in an infiltration bid, the official added.

The official said recovering the bodies of the guerrillas would take time because of the difficult terrain.

Some of the guerrillas might have fled back after their infiltration attempt was foiled, the official added.

IANS

Four NDFB-S militants arrested with explosives in Assam

Shillong: Four militants belonging to the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-S) of Assam and an explosive supplier were arrested with 144 gelatine sticks and 126 detonators in East Jaintia Hills district early on Sunday.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Acting on a tip-off, a special team of the state police raided Byndihati village in the wee hours and the four were rounded up, district SP Spill Thamar said.

He said during the raid, the militants were trying to smuggle explosives out of the state and the supplier was also arrested.

At least 144 gelatine sticks and 126 detonators were seized from the militants.

Among the militants were self-styled commander of the NDFB-S identified as Bolashi Boro and his deputy Santosh Kharkekary alias K Shimang, he said.

PTI

J&K: Militant killed as army foils infiltration bid in Kupwara

Srinagar: An unidentified militant was today killed as security forces thwarted a major infiltration bid in Machil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

PTIPTI

PTI

Alert troops noticed a group of militants trying to sneak into this side from across the Line of Control (LoC) at Sardari Nar in Machil sector in the wee hours, a senior Army officer said.

He said the troops challenged the militants who indulged in indiscriminate firing.

The troops returned the fire and in the ensuing gunbattle, a militant was killed, the officer said adding the body of the militant along with an assault rifle and some ammunition was recovered from the scene of the encounter.

He said the identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is yet to be ascertained. Reinforcements have been rushed  to the area and a search operation was going on to track down other members of the infiltrating group.

PTI

Regional commander among two NSCN(K) militants arrested in Manipur

Imphal: In the aftermath of the 4 June ambush on an Army convoy in which 18 soldiers were killed, three militants, including two NSCN(K) insurgents, have been arrested in Manipur.

Reuters imageReuters image

Reuters image

A self styled ‘chairman’ of NSCN(K)’s ‘Amamchat region’, Khumlo Abi Anal, was nabbed by Imphal West district police commandos during a search operation in a super market under Lamphel police station on June 11 last, a press release issued by the Manipur police said.

He hails from Lambung village of Chandel district, the release said.

The police commandos also arrested another NSCN(K) activist Pammei Kakilong alias Kaling 9310 of Chingkhulong village of Tamenglong district while conducting frisking at Sagolband Salam Leikai in Imphal West district on June 11, the release said.

In another search operation conducted jointly by Imphal East police commandos and 40 Assam Rifles at Kiyamgei village in Imphal East district on June 10 last, one Md Jahid Ali (22), an activist of outlawed Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP-MC) outfit, was arrested, the release said.

PTI

Parrikar’s jibe at Pak aside, Myanmar strike delivers unpleasant PR lesson for Modi sarkar

A day after the Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore’s over the top bluster made headlines after the Indian Army’s operation against militant camps in Myanmar, the government has been quickly forced into dialling down the rhetoric. The reason: instant backlash from not just Pakistan but also Myanmar.

India’s normally outspoken defence minister Manohar Parrikar tried to deflect some of the criticism from Pakistan.

“Those who fear India’s new posture have started reacting,” Parrikar said at an event on Thursday.

But even while praising the Indian Army’s operation, he stayed well clear of controversy by refusing to go into the details of it. It was a wise decision.

Likely furious at the attempt to paint the operation as a symbol of Indian muscle, Myanmar government on Wednesday strongly denied reports that Indian army forces had crossed its border to carry out the operation.

AFP imageAFP image

AFP image

In a Facebook post Wednesday Zaw Htay, director of Myanmar’s presidential office, wrote, “According to the information sent by Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) battalions on the ground, we have learned that the military operation was performed on the Indian side at India-Myanmar border.”

“Myanmar will not accept any foreigner who attacks neighbouring countries in the back and creates problems by using our own territory,” he added, however.

Despite an agreement between the two nations, the response from Myanmar comes as no surprise given it doesn’t want to be seen as country that will compromise on its territorial integrity.

The response from Myanmar was also in keeping with the official statement of the Indian Army which merely stated that its forces had engaged with militants “along the Indo- Myanmar border at two locations along the Nagaland and Manipur borders”,  but did not mention having crossed it. It was Rathore who played up the fact that the operation had taken place in Myanmar territory.

“And it involved our Special Forces crossing the border and going deep into another country,” Rathore had told the Indian Express.  It was Rathore who led the PR effort to paint the operation as an expression of Indian machismo, employing hashtags on Twitter such as #ManipurRevenge and #56inchRocks. And he is the one who enhanced the significance of one strike, drawing Pakistan into the picture, declaring, “This is a message for all countries, including Pakistan, and groups harbouring terror intent towards India. A terrorist is a terrorist and has no other identity. We will strike when we want to.”

Worse, it now turns out that Rathore wasn’t just another motormouth in the Modi sarkar who made incautious statements without sanction. According to an Express article published today,

“When the government decided to field Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore Tuesday night to talk about the Indian Army’s strike on terrorist camps in Myanmar, it was because it felt he could send the message across louder and clearer than the Army could. Sources said a political intervention was felt necessary at the “highest level” and that’s how Rathore, a retired Army colonel, was chosen to give out details the Army couldn’t.”

Nothing that Rathore shared with the media was a coincidence. He was part of a deliberate PR effort on the part of the government to claim political credit for the military operation.

Unfortunately, the move backfired. The careful diplomatic groundwork laid by Indian officials with Myanmar to make the raid possible turned to naught in the chest-beating that followed afterwards. The Indian government is now in the postion of being publicly contradicted by its own ally — even as Indian officials have been instructed to convey their gratitude to Myanmar for its cooperation.

But it’s not just Myanmar that’s seething over our government’s rhetoric. Pakistan expectedly didn’t take too kindly to Rathore’s statements that barely concealed which nation India could target next.

Pakistani Interior Minister Nisar Khan said that it should be clear to India that “Pakistan is not a country like Myanmar”.

“Those having ill designs against Pakistan should listen carefully that our security forces are capable of matching response to any adventurism,” he said.

Pakistan would never accept India hegemony and that the “Indian leaders should stop day dreaming”, Khan said, adding that they would not be cowed down by threats.

The resultant diplomatic furore has led to further backpedalling with the Modi government telling its officials to tone it down.  According to the Times of India, “Sources said although the Modi government had responded to provocations from Pakistan by using disproportionate force, it does not want to create an impression that it is spoiling for a confrontation.”

The Indian Army’s no stranger to covert operations across borders and has in the past crossed the border in Myanmar to strike at Indian militant groups camped there. As this DNA report points out, in January 2006, the Indian Army attacked the same militant group in Myanmar after striking a deal for arms supply to the Myanmar Army. But none of these operations were ever tom-tommed in public by the government.

The Modi sarkar in hot pursuit of publicity may have complicated further such operations. According to the Telegraph, the Indian ambassador to Myanmar spent most of yesterday in a series of meetings with Myanmar officials: “By late evening, an official said, Mukhopadhyay had been told by the Myanmarese authorities they were unhappy with the ‘way the operation had been presented’.”

Simply decoded, it means that if the Indian Army wants to go into Myanmar the next time round, it may not get a warm welcome from the Myanmar Army.

The bottomline is that the government was tempted of portraying the Myanmar strike as a Osama-like helicopters carrying special forces deep into another nation’s territory to punish terrorists, without the full knowledge or cooperation of the local government and without a single military loss of life. The desire to paint a Modi-led India into a take-no-prisoners nation that acts unilaterally and without apology undermined what was, in essence, a sound military operation. As Firstpost‘s R Jagannathan pointed out, the operation is just the first in what is likely a long-term strategy which may well be hugely effective in combatting terrorism. But to turn one strike into a chest-thumping PR exercise is “unwarranted and counter-productive.”

with inputs from agencies

(Editor’s note: The copy was modified from its original version to incorporate Defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement on Thursday)

Parrikar’s jibe at Pak aside, Myanmar strike delivers unpleasant PR lesson for Modi govt

A day after the Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore’s over the top bluster made headlines after the Indian Army’s operation against militant camps in Myanmar, the government has been quickly forced into dialling down the rhetoric. The reason: instant backlash from not just Pakistan but also Myanmar.

India’s normally outspoken defence minister Manohar Parrikar tried to deflect some of the criticism from Pakistan.

“Those who fear India’s new posture have started reacting,” Parrikar said at an event on Thursday.

But even while praising the Indian Army’s operation, he stayed well clear of controversy by refusing to go into the details of it. It was a wise decision.

Likely furious at the attempt to paint the operation as a symbol of Indian muscle, Myanmar government on Wednesday strongly denied reports that Indian army forces had crossed its border to carry out the operation.

AFP imageAFP image

AFP image

In a Facebook post Wednesday Zaw Htay, director of Myanmar’s presidential office, wrote, “According to the information sent by Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) battalions on the ground, we have learned that the military operation was performed on the Indian side at India-Myanmar border.”

“Myanmar will not accept any foreigner who attacks neighbouring countries in the back and creates problems by using our own territory,” he added, however.

Despite an agreement between the two nations, the response from Myanmar comes as no surprise given it doesn’t want to be seen as country that will compromise on its territorial integrity.

The response from Myanmar was also in keeping with the official statement of the Indian Army which merely stated that its forces had engaged with militants “along the Indo- Myanmar border at two locations along the Nagaland and Manipur borders”,  but did not mention having crossed it. It was Rathore who played up the fact that the operation had taken place in Myanmar territory.

“And it involved our Special Forces crossing the border and going deep into another country,” Rathore had told the Indian Express.  It was Rathore who led the PR effort to paint the operation as an expression of Indian machismo, employing hashtags on Twitter such as #ManipurRevenge and #56inchRocks. And he is the one who enhanced the significance of one strike, drawing Pakistan into the picture, declaring, “This is a message for all countries, including Pakistan, and groups harbouring terror intent towards India. A terrorist is a terrorist and has no other identity. We will strike when we want to.”

Worse, it now turns out that Rathore wasn’t just another motormouth in the Modi sarkar who made incautious statements without sanction. According to an Express article published today,

“When the government decided to field Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore Tuesday night to talk about the Indian Army’s strike on terrorist camps in Myanmar, it was because it felt he could send the message across louder and clearer than the Army could. Sources said a political intervention was felt necessary at the “highest level” and that’s how Rathore, a retired Army colonel, was chosen to give out details the Army couldn’t.”

Nothing that Rathore shared with the media was a coincidence. He was part of a deliberate PR effort on the part of the government to claim political credit for the military operation.

Unfortunately, the move backfired. The careful diplomatic groundwork laid by Indian officials with Myanmar to make the raid possible turned to naught in the chest-beating that followed afterwards. The Indian government is now in the postion of being publicly contradicted by its own ally — even as Indian officials have been instructed to convey their gratitude to Myanmar for its cooperation.

But it’s not just Myanmar that’s seething over our government’s rhetoric. Pakistan expectedly didn’t take too kindly to Rathore’s statements that barely concealed which nation India could target next.

Pakistani Interior Minister Nisar Khan said that it should be clear to India that “Pakistan is not a country like Myanmar”.

“Those having ill designs against Pakistan should listen carefully that our security forces are capable of matching response to any adventurism,” he said.

Pakistan would never accept India hegemony and that the “Indian leaders should stop day dreaming”, Khan said, adding that they would not be cowed down by threats.

The resultant diplomatic furore has led to further backpedalling with the Modi government telling its officials to tone it down.  According to the Times of India, “Sources said although the Modi government had responded to provocations from Pakistan by using disproportionate force, it does not want to create an impression that it is spoiling for a confrontation.”

The Indian Army’s no stranger to covert operations across borders and has in the past crossed the border in Myanmar to strike at Indian militant groups camped there. As this DNA report points out, in January 2006, the Indian Army attacked the same militant group in Myanmar after striking a deal for arms supply to the Myanmar Army. But none of these operations were ever tom-tommed in public by the government.

The Modi sarkar in hot pursuit of publicity may have complicated further such operations. According to the Telegraph, the Indian ambassador to Myanmar spent most of yesterday in a series of meetings with Myanmar officials: “By late evening, an official said, Mukhopadhyay had been told by the Myanmarese authorities they were unhappy with the ‘way the operation had been presented’.”

Simply decoded, it means that if the Indian Army wants to go into Myanmar the next time round, it may not get a warm welcome from the Myanmar Army.

The bottomline is that the government was tempted of portraying the Myanmar strike as a Osama-like helicopters carrying special forces deep into another nation’s territory to punish terrorists, without the full knowledge or cooperation of the local government and without a single military loss of life. The desire to paint a Modi-led India into a take-no-prisoners nation that acts unilaterally and without apology undermined what was, in essence, a sound military operation. As Firstpost‘s R Jagannathan pointed out, the operation is just the first in what is likely a long-term strategy which may well be hugely effective in combatting terrorism. But to turn one strike into a chest-thumping PR exercise is “unwarranted and counter-productive.”

with inputs from agencies

(Editor’s note: The copy was modified from its original version to incorporate Defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement on Thursday)

Indian Army intercepts heavily armed guerrillas in Kashmir’s Kupwara district

SRINAGAR: The Indian army on Sunday intercepted a group of heavily armed guerrillas in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, triggering a fierce gunbattle which is still raging on over the Line of Control (LoC).

Representational image. FirstpostRepresentational image. Firstpost

Representational image. Firstpost

“Army troops intercepted a group of heavily armed militants on the LoC in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district on Sunday morning,” a senior police officer said here.

“When challenged, the militants resorted to firing at the troops resulting in a fierce gunbattle that is still going on.”

IANS

Militants kill five, target telecoms in Kashmir attacks | Reuters

SRINAGAR, India Militants killed four Indian soldiers and an employee of a mobile phone shop in Jammu & Kashmir on Monday, in a spate of attacks in the disputed region.

In Sopore in northern Kashmir, one employee was killed and two wounded when militants fired at a franchise outlet of BSNL, a state-owned telecommunications company, a senior police officer said. It was the second attack in as many days targeting telecommunication businesses.

In a separate incident, three Indian soldiers were killed and a fourth wounded by a group of six or seven gunmen who crossed into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side of the disputed border, an army officer said. The army killed one of the militants in a gunfight that followed, the officer said.

Militants also opened fire on an army patrol and shot dead a soldier in the south of Indian-administered Kashmir police said. The army returned fire and killed one.

The attack on the mobile phone shop follows the appearance last week of posters – bearing the name of the Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Islam – in the same area, warning phone companies to shut down their operations and landlords to

“We warn these telecommunication companies to close all networking services, close their offices and stop recharging services as well. We warn the retailers as well to stop recharging the subscribers within seven days,” the posters read.

It is not clear why the militants are targeting telecoms companies, but the warnings are serious – the militants hurled two grenades at a mobile phone tower used by Vodafone, Aircel and Airtel near a police station on Sunday. One of the grenades exploded near the tower without causing any damage.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is a heavily militarised region, claimed by both Pakistan and India in full but ruled by the two countries in part.

Separatists have been fighting Indian security forces in the Indian-administered part of the region since 1989, although the frequency of attacks has waned in recent years. India accuses Pakistan of training and arming the rebels, a claim Islamabad denies.

(Writing by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani, Larry King)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Militants attack BSNL office in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore; 1 killed, 2 injured

Srinagar: One person was killed and two others were injured in a militant attack on a telecom company outlet in Sopore town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district today, police said.

The militants opened firing on the franchisee of BSNL at Iqbal Market in Sopore, 52 kms from here, which resulted in injuries to three of its workers, a police officer said.

Representational Image. Reuters

Representational Image. Reuters

The injured were rushed to a local hospital, where doctors referred them to a hospital here for treatment, the officer said.

He said it seemed to be an attack on telecom operators as militants had threatened them in the past. It was second such attack in less than 48 hours in Sopore area.

He said one among the injured, Mohammad Rafiq (26), a resident of Handwara area of Kupwara district, succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

The two injured, Ghulam Mohammad Bhat (40) and Imtiyaz
Ahmad Lone (30), both residents of Sopore township, were being treated upon, the officer said.

Suspected ultras had hurled a grenade at a residential compound where a mobile transmission tower was installed on the intervening night of 23 and 24 May.

Although officials were tight-lipped as to why the militants were targeting telecom installations, sources said the ultras were upset about “theft” of their communication equipment from mobile transmission towers in Sopore and surrounding areas earlier this month.

The militants had allegedly installed communication equipment atop the towers of private and PSU companies.

PTI

Jammu and Kashmir: Three unarmed policemen shot dead by militants in Shopian

Srinagar: Militants on Monday shot dead three unarmed policemen, who had gone for investigating a crime in a village in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Three policemen – one head constable and two constables – were killed in a militant attack at Ashipora in Shopian district,” a police officer said.

He said the slain policemen were unarmed and had gone to the village for investigating a crime when militants opened fire on them.

This is second militant attack on policemen within hours in Kashmir Valley.

Earlier in the day, ultras shot at and critically injured a police officer in Pattan area of Baramulla district.

Sub Inspector Ghulam Mustafa was shot at and injured by two pistol-borne militants in a bus which was on its way to Pattan, a police official said.

The driver of the bus drove the bus to a local police post where the cops shifted their injured colleague to hospital, he said.

Militants also shot at and injured a person in Tral township of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district today.

Rafiq Ahmad Bhat, a former militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, was shot at and critically injured by gunmen in the town, police said.

They said Bhat was rushed to Srinagar for treatment.

PTI

Kathua attack Live: Two militants killed, Rajnath Singh praises security forces in Lok Sabha

12.12 am: Our sympathies lie with families of those who lost their lives, says Rajnath

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in a statement in Lok Sabha, confirmed that two militants have been gunned down by the security forces and praised the security personnel for their work.

“Our sympathies lie with the families of the policemen and the CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the attack,” Singh said. “A civilian who was shot down by militant has our sympathies,” he added.

“We admire and commend the work done by our security forces,” said the Home Minister.

11.47 am: Gunbattle ends, two terrorists killed

The counter-terror operation launched by security forces against the militants at the Rajbagh police station has ended, according to TV reports. Reports also said that another suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militant had been killed in the encounter.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

A search operation is being conducted by the security forces in the area now.

11.27 am: Kathua terror attack reflects the lawlessness in Jammu and Kashmir, says NCP

NCP leader Majid Memon slammed the PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir for the terror attack on the police station in Kathua district.

“This is unfortunate in the sense that this only reflects that there is no rule of law, there is total chaos, lawlessness. Thanks to the uncomfortable PDP-BJP alliance which is in power in Jammu and Kashmir,” Memon told ANI.

“We have been seeing from past more than a month, since the assumption of power by this combination that the separatist and anti-nationalist elements are being encouraged. They probably think that they are no more orphan, they have got somebody in the government to support, depending upon soft support of PDP,” he added.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also said, “What do you expect under a CM who released Masarat Alam?”

11.03 am: Militants were wearing army uniform, says CRPF officer

CRPF constable Bharat Prabhu, who was injured in the terror attack, said that the militants, wearing Army uniforms, intercepted a jeep going from Jammu to Pathankot on the pretext of checking the vehicle.

The ultras then hijacked the jeep which had three passengers on board and fled towards the Rajbagh Police Station where they opened fire on a sentry and killed him.

The militants then hurled grenades at the police station and opened indiscriminate fire. – PTI

10.32 am: Three security personnel killed, Rajnath meets PM Modi on the issue

The death toll in the Kathua terror attack has now climbed up to 4, with three security personnel killed in the attack, reported NDTV. Another militant had been shot dead in the ongoing gunbattle.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, along with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue, according to Times Now.

9.59 am: Pak should realise friendship and terrorism cannot go hand-in-hand, says Congress

Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad criticised Pakistan for the terror attack and said the country should realise that friendship talks and terrorism cannot go hand-in-hand.

“It is sad that Pakistan indulges in habitual backstabbing,” said Azad. “Foreign Secretary-level talk just happened…Pakistan should realise that friendship and terrorism cannot go hand in hand.”

Azad also said that it is sad that the “peace process hasn’t even concluded and this has happened.”

BJP leader Jitendra Singh also told Times Now, “This is evidence of the fact that Pakistan is refusing to mend its ways.”

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also expected to make a statement on the Kathua terror attack in the Parliament today, said reports.

9.35 am: Another security personnel killed, one militant shot dead

Another security personnel has been reportedly killed in the attack, according to TV reports. Zee News also reported that nine people have been seriously injured in the attack. These nine include seven CRPF officers, one policeman and one civilian.

One of the terrorists who attacked the Rajbagh police station in Kathua has been shot dead by security forces, according to reports.

Heavy firing was heard from the site in which security forces launched a counter-operation against the militants.

8.59 am: Rajnath speaks to J&K DGP, Home Ministry monitoring situation

The Ministry of Home Affairs is monitoring the situation in Kathua. The Home Secretary LC Goyal has also spoken to the Jammu and Kashmir DGP about the terror attack.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has also spoken to the Jammu and Kashmir DGP and has instructed the Home Secretary to closely monitor the situation.

8.40 am: Terror attack carried out by 3 to 4 terrorists of LeT suicide squad, say reports

A gunbattle in underway at the Kathua police station. The Jammu-Pathankot national highway has also been closed due to the attack, according to ANI.

“We have issued an alert in various areas in Samba,” a security officer said.

The terror attack was carried out by 3 to 4 terrorists, who reportedly belong to the suicide squad of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and were heavily armed with assault rifles and Chinese grenades, according to Times Now.

8.26 am: My thoughts are with brave security personnel, tweets Omar Abullah

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was the first politician to react to the terror attack and said that his thoughts were with the brave policemen dealing with the attack.

Terrorists attack police station in Kathua, 1 officer dead, civilian injured

A policeman has been killed on early Friday morning after a group of militants attacked a police station in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

Three CRPF personnel and a civilian have been injured in the attack till now.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Times Now reports that the terrorists are believed to be holding several hostages inside the police station. A report on CNN IBN said that security forces have been rushed to the spot.

The militants attacked the Rajbagh police station in Kathua district in the early hours of Friday.

“Militants used automatic weapons and hurled grenades at the Rajbagh police station in Kathua district today morning. One policeman was killed in the attack and three were injured,” a senior police officer told IANS.

Exactly a year back, in March 2014, Kathua had witnessed a similar, audacious terror strike which left three people dead, including an army personnel.

Three militants had arrived in the Indian Army’s combat uniform. They, then stopped a car and opened fire.