Internet, mobile services suspended in J&K after infiltration bid by terrorists

Jammu: Three militants have been killed in an encounter that raged between government forces and militants in Mandoora village of Tral belt in South Kashmirâ  s Pulwama district on Friday, 29 January 2021 (Photo:IANS/Nissar Malik)

Srinagar: Internet and mobile phone services have been suspended in Jammu and Kashmir after an infiltration attempt was detected by the Indian Army, authorities said on Monday.

This is the second such attempt this year and it comes amid a backdrop of no ceasefire violations or instigations from across the border, unlike the previous years.

The army has called in reinforcements and a large area has been cordoned off in the Uri sector which lies close to the Line of Control.

The suspension of internet and mobile phone services are part of the counter-infiltration operation already underway here.

It is unclear if the group are on the Indian side or whether they have gone back after making the attempt.

"There have been some infiltration attempts, but unlike previous years they have not been adequately supported by ceasefire violations. As per my knowledge, only two attempts have succeeded. One was neutralised in Bandipore. We are looking for the second one," Lt Gen DP Panday, the General Officer Commanding of the 15 Corps said.

"The operation is underway in Uri. We are looking for them. We are alert and will ensure minimal infiltration takes place," the general added.

There has been no ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir since the reiteration of the agreement between the armies of India and Pakistan in February this year.

The General also assured that there is no need to worry about the possibility of a spillover of Taliban militants into Jammu and Kashmir.

"Why are you worried? You are safe and you will be kept safe. There is enough effort. If there is a gentleman who picks up a weapon, he will be neutralised either way -- by getting killed or by getting apprehended and if he comes and offers to surrender, we will take surrender," the top Army officer said.

Asked about the number of foreign militants present in the Kashmir valley, Lt Gen Pandey said according to the police, 60-70 foreign terrorists who are basically Pakistanis are likely present in the Kashmir valley. "Their strategy is to not carry out any terrorist attack, but motivate the local youth to action and give them arms so that they are killed in encounters. It benefits them in a way that when a young boy from our country, our Kashmir, is killed, his family becomes angry with us. This is their strategy and they do not carry out operations and work from behind," he added.

The GoC, however, said there is a change in the mindset of the people in Kashmir as they have "realised that they have been taken up the wrong path by the people within their own community".

"This is the fight against anti-national, anti-social elements which has to be taken up by the people themselves. We need to ensure that the children come out freely, educate themselves and become responsible citizens of the country.

"They take respect in society, they fulfil the dreams of their parents. No father or mother wants their child to pelt stones on the streets, but there are vicious elements which motivate them through various means and take them out on to the streets," he said.

Lt Gen Pandey said the current security scenario "reflects clearly that the youth has stopped coming out on the street, that they have understood this game".

He said the security forces have been reaching out to the families of the youth who have joined militancy.

"We have to ensure that they (families) reach out to their young ones who have been misled and they should be allowed to surrender by motivating them to be a responsible citizen of the country. There cannot be a better opportunity as of today to ensure that they can fall back to civil society,' he said.

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