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India Avenges Uri Attack: Indian Army conducts surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads in Pakistan

Villagers in a 10-km border belt in Punjab in India were ordered to move to safer places, while schools were shut in the entire area

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Indian military
Indian Army. Wikimedia

September 29, 2016: India said on Thursday it carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the LoC in Pakistan and inflicted heavy casualties. Islamabad insisted there had been only cross-border clashes that left two of its soldiers dead.

Eleven days after terrorists killed 18 Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Special Forces targeted “some terrorist teams” positioned on the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday night, the military said.

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“During these counter-terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who support them,” Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, the Director General Military Operations (DGMO), told the media.

As Indian authorities ordered a high alert along the border areas of Punjab and Gujarat and said it was ready for any retaliation by Islamabad, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sounded a warning to New Delhi.

Villagers in a 10-km border belt in Punjab in India were ordered to move to safer places, while schools were shut in the entire area. Leave of police as well as medical personnel there was cancelled.

Across the border in Neelum Valley in Pakistan, authorities banned the movement of vehicles near the LoC, ordered primary schools shut and warned people not to loiter in the vicinity, according to Geo News.

Minutes after India announced the surgical strikes on Thursday, Sharif denounced what he said was “unprovoked and naked aggression” by Indian forces.

“Our intent for peaceful neighbourhood should not be mistaken as our weakness,” he said. Pakistan can “thwart any evil design made to undermine the sovereignty of Pakistan”, he added.

The Pakistani military said there were no surgical strikes by India, and “instead there had been cross-border fire initiated and conducted by India which is existential phenomenon.

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“The same was strongly and befittingly responded by Pakistani troops,” it said. “The notion of surgical strikes linked to alleged terrorist bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by India.”

Terrorists fighting Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir are known to be based in the Pakistani part of divided Kashmir and are said to enjoy the backing of both the Pakistani military and terrorist groups aligned with Pakistani intelligence.

As temperatures mounted in the region, with the Saarc summit scheduled in Islamabad in November under a shadow following a boycott by India, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, the government convened an all-party meeting in New Delhi and shared details of the overnight surgical strikes.

The Indian forces did not release details but some reports said that Indian Special Forces had gone three kilometers across the LoC and eliminated 38 terrorists before retreating.

Gen Ranbir Singh said the terrorists in the surgical strikes had planned “to carry out infiltration and terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir and various other metros in our country.

“The operation was basically focussed to ensure that these terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carrying out destruction and endangering the lives of citizens of our country,” he said.

The DGMO said the operation had since ceased. “We do not have plans of further continuation of the operations. However, the Indian armed forces are fully prepared for any contingency that may arise.”

The Indian action was based on “very specific and credible information”, he added.

Thursday also saw Pakistani military shelling Indian positions across the LoC — which divides Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries — at Danesh and Lakshmi posts in Naugam sector, the state Police said. The Indian military retaliated.

Pakistan said the exchange of fire began at 2.30 a.m. and continued till 8.00 a.m., leaving two Pakistani soldiers dead.

“Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing on the LoC in Bhimber, Hotspring Kel and Lipa sectors,” it said.

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The Indian DGMO said he also spoke to his Pakistani counterpart and told him about the operation.

“It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquility in the region but we cannot — certainly not — allow the terrorists to operate across the LoC with impunity and attack the citizens of the country.

“We expect the Pakistan Army to cooperate with us to erase the menace of terrorism from our region,” he added. (IANS)

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BJP Hopeful of Getting its “First Chief Minister” in Jammu and Kashmir

Meanwhile, the BJP which shared power in the state with the PDP for three years from 2015 to 2018, did not get the top post

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BJP, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir has seen several Chief Ministers from Congress, National Conference and the People's Democratic Party (PDP). Flickr

The BJP is hopeful of getting its “first Chief Minister” in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 from the state two months ago, and the planned delimitation of the Assembly constituencies.

In an interview to IANS, Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Ravinder Raina said, “Jammu and Kashmir is a unit. And as President of BJP here, I am confident that we will have a BJP Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir very soon.”

Jammu and Kashmir has seen several Chief Ministers from Congress, National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Meanwhile, the BJP which shared power in the state with the PDP for three years from 2015 to 2018, did not get the top post and had to accept the post of Deputy Chief Minister.

BJP, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir
In an interview to IANS, Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Ravinder Raina said, Jammu and Kashmir is a unit. Flickr

When asked about the planned delimitation of constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, Raina said, “The Election Commission will take a final call on the delimitation of the Assembly constituencies here.”

Raina said the poll panel will constitute a commission, which will be headed by either a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge.

The BJP leader pointed out that the commission which will be constituted for the delimitation process will follow all the standard prodecures.

The government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 and also bifurcated the state into two union territories.

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Following the revocation of Article 370, the government has enforced a massive clampdown on communication and internet services in the state and deployed heavy security presence.

To a question over the clampdown for 60 days in the state, the state BJP chief said, “Soon after the abrogation of Article 370 the mobile connectivity and internet facility was suspended here.

“And now you are witnessing that the mobile connectivity and Wi-fi services are given a free hand and people are using those facilities here,” Raina said pointing towards the Wi-fi hotspots and connections provided to the citizens in Jammu.

Pointing towards the Kashmir valley, where only landlines connections and BSNL mobile networks are operating, he said, “In Kashmir valley too, the communication systems whether it is landline connections or BSNL mobile numbers are being operated and are given access.”

BJP, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir
And as President of BJP here, I am confident that we will have a BJP Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir very soon. Pixabay

“But there are still apprehensions that Pakistani agents may use the internet facilities to defame and to create mess and try to instigate the youth of the country,” he said on the internet suspension in Srinagar and other districts in the Kashmir valley.

Raina further said that Pakistani elements can instigate the youth and spread venom in the society and that is why preventive measures have been taken. “But soon you shall find all internet facilities will be opened and will be given free access,” he said.

India has on several occasions accused Pakistan of sponsoring terror and allowing its land to be used for terror activities. In recent days, the Indian Army and security forces have foiled terrorists’ attempts to enter Indian territory from the Pakistan side.

On India’s semi-high speed and feature-rich Vande Bharat Express arriving in Jammu from Delhi, he said, “We are thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for providing the best train that is Vande Bharat Express to Jammu and Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370.

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He said “Vande Bharat Express will provide all sorts of relief to passengers that we have seen at the overcrowded railway stations of Jammu Tawi, Katra and Udhampur. It is a big gift for the people of Kashmir,” Raina added. (IANS)