The Army has confirmed its engagement with militants and ‘special forces’ in a fierce gun battle in Kupwara when the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan were meeting in New York recently.
But it rubbished media reports that the militants had captured some Indian posts and a deserted village on the Line of Control in a “Kargil-like situation.”
Days after the Army’s seniormost commander in the Kashmir Valley disclosed that troops in Kupwara had foiled a major infiltration attempt and killed 10-12 militants in an inconclusive operation, General Officer Commanding 15 Corps Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh said on Wednesday that another group of 12 militants had tried to enter the cordoned area the previous night.
There was a fresh exchange of gunfire in which five Indian soldiers were injured. But all of them were in a stable condition, he told a press conference here.
“Today [Wednesday] is the 9th day of the operation. This infiltration was attempted by 30 to 40 militants. I had a definite, concrete and specific input of their intentions. We were prepared for this challenge,” Gen. Singh said. According to him, the infiltration attempt started on September 24.
Gen. Singh claimed that some “special troops” were also part of the infiltration attempt, suggesting involvement of the Border Action Team of the Pakistani Army.
“The strength and the multiple points at which they attempted and the intentions they had indicate that definitely there were some special troops. ” To a question, he said: “The [recovery of the] bodies of militants is of no consequence. To me, it is [important] to ensure that I complete the operation the way it has been planned.”