National

JeM’s twin strike: Pathankot and now Uri

Action plan: Home Minister Rajnath Singh holding a high-level security meeting at his residence in New Delhi on Sunday in the wake of terror attack in Uri.  

Hours after the assault on an Army camp in Uri, Home Minister Rajnath Singh blamed Pakistan for the attack and called it a “terrorist state” which should be “identified and isolated.”

Mr. Singh, who postponed his Russia and U.S. trips in the wake of the attack, also apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the two-hour security review meeting at his residence.

Mr. Singh said there were definite and credible indications that the attackers were “highly trained, heavily armed and specially equipped.”

“I am deeply disappointed with Pakistan’s continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups,” Mr. Singh said in a message posted on Twitter.

A senior Home Ministry official said till afternoon, the security agencies were not sure whether Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) or Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), both Pakistan-based, were behind the attack. It was only by evening that it became clear that the JeM was behind the attack. The January 2 attack at the Pathankot airbase was also carried out by JeM.

“There was an uncertainty on the terrorist group involved in the attack in the morning but one thing was sure that the attack was meticulously planned by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The terrorists knew the precise location to be targeted and were well trained,” said the official privy to the meeting chaired by the Home Minister.

Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief Rajinder Khanna, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi were also present in the meeting.

More attacks feared

More terror attacks are expected in the coming days due to the continuing unrest in Kashmir and the Army being redeployed to the hinterland in South Kashmir from the forward areas, said another official.

“Uri attack, this is my old HQ. Warned the Cdr specifically on September 8. Happened in 10 days. Done to remove pressure from hinterland army move,” Lt Gen Ata Hasnain, former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 and 21 Corps tweeted.

South Kashmir has been simmering with protests since the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen ''commander'' Burhan Wani in an encounter in July 8. With violence going unabated, the Army was asked to send in additional forces to the trouble spots in the south.

Mr. Singh was to leave for Russia on Sunday for a four-day visit. Post return from Russia, he was to again leave on a week-long visit to the U.S. on September 27 to attend the Homeland Security dialogue.

A message posted by the Home Minister's Twitter handle said, “Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of the terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits to Russia and the USA.”

Earlier, Mr. Singh had to visit the U.S. in July, but the unrest in the Valley led him to postpone the meeting.

“I have given instructions to the Home Secretary and other senior officers in MHA to closely monitor the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” another tweet by Mr. Singh said. Mr. Singh also said that he had spoken to the Governor and the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. “They have apprised me of the security situation,” he added.


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