18th September: Within hours of the terrorist attack in Uri, where 4 terrorists were killed and 17 soldiers martyred, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief General Dalbir Singh visited Kashmir to take stock of the ongoing operations and review the overall security situation in Kashmir.
They were briefed by the Northern Army and Chinar Corps Commanders Lt Gen DS Hooda and Lt Gen Satish Dua respectively at Srinagar on the Uri attack and the operation launched to neutralise the terrorists. While three of the four heavily armed terrorists were eliminated within the initial fifteen minutes of establishing contact, the fourth was neutralized later. Four AK-47 rifles and an equal number of Under-Barrel Grenade Launchers (UGBGL) along with other war like stores were recovered from them. Unfortunately, 17 soldiers have attained martyrdom in the operation. Thirteen soldiers died as they were trapped in the tents and shelters that caught fire due to the explosives used by the terrorists.
“The supreme sacrifice of 17 brave soldiers will not go in vain. My salute to them”, Parrikar said. He added that he’d instructed the Army chief and commanders “to take firm action“.
The Defence Minister was briefed about the security grid along the Line of Control (LoC) and the hinterland and the deployment of the additional forces that have been recently inducted into the Valley. The need for heightened vigil both on the LoC and hinterland and the need to remain prepared for any eventuality was stressed upon. There have been a number of infiltration attempts that the Army has foiled recently. It may be recalled that in the last one week itself, 3 such attempts were foiled in Kupwara Sector when 4 terrorists were killed and another group of 4 terrorists was eliminated in Poonch.
On being briefed about the internal security situation in the hinterland, the Army Chief reiterated the importance of complete synergy amongst all security, intelligence and other government agencies to ensure calm and prevent terrorists and other inimical forces from moving with impunity and intimidating the populace.
Earlier, the Army Chief also visited Uri to get a first hand account where he was briefed on the latest situation by the commanders on ground. Saluting the martyrs, they expressed their grief and deepest condolences over the loss and wished speedy recovery to the injured. The Defence Minister has directed that the mortal remains of all the martyrs would be transported directly to their respective hometowns for which arrangements are being made.