A cowardly terrorist attack in the night on the Indian Army stronghold and then the fierce retaliation by a strike deep in the enemy territory…
(Has to be one of the most daring chapters of Indian military history!)
-‘It was sudden and a fury ridden one in a town where things move as if it is a dreamland on both sides of the river Jhelum. There is a never a noise that can be heard as deafening as it was once heard in 1947, then those eye and ear pleasing ones when the great literary words of Mehjoor, the great Kashmiri poet were seen on the painted canvases adorning the bridge of peace that should have been earmarking an era of peace, but some outrageous and ridiculous to the core elements in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir decided to sound the bugles of betrayal! It was not the first one that was initiated by Pakistan but India had scorched up it’s patience limits. It was time to hit back and that too ruthlessly!’ The same was done disdainfully as was the attack on the soldiers who were in a relaxed mode! It was an act of cowardice yet again!
-‘ Uri was yet again an example where Pakistan showed its split ideology. Invariably the leaders and generals who were born in the land of the pure (Pakistan) said that we cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Great words indeed for anyone and everyone. For sure they impressed the Kashmiry young men two generations ago. Now in retrospect they may be admitting that they were wrong but who in actuality was saying so to them and for what reason they probably never told the generations coming in. They never did but I will be using Uri as a place where the back stab left an indecent scar! Pakistan could do nothing when India came with a whiplash from the ground’!
-‘ By now Kashmiris should have realized that love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Pakistan could have never been with them. A country searching for the tenacity to get depth backward (Afghanistan) and forward (Kashmir) could not have been anyone’s friend. In this process they are losing their middle belly. Situation in Pakistan suggests that. The recent cancellation of a cricket tour by New Zealand is a testimony to this fact. Everyone on the globe cannot be wrong as regards Pakistan because it is a country governed by wrong people with a cracked up mindset, then how can a few in Kashmir prove with a few holding weapons that Pakistan is a right country! Uri was the breaking point!
-‘One more thing, shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Pakistan smashed each and every aspect of trust and faith! Kashmiris (most of them barring a few) acknowledge the fact that love can only survive these injuries if they are thought about seriously, healed and rare. It’s only the Indian Army that can do that and Pakistan knows it. Uri was a beginning to teach Pakistan a few more lessons! It was drilled home with panache!
Before I come to what really happened let me relate to you an incident which I got in my mind after I read JK Rowling, though I’m not a fanatic fan of the record breaking lady’s writings but she is a master of creating some great sequences and I will use that as a reference as I will describe a conceptualized version in an ideal situation in a Pakistan Army’s situation rooms’ discussion. So here I go: ‘what was there to be gained by fighting all these years that have passed by? said Nasser, with a terrible fury in his face. Another one erupted in a more furious tone, we have only taken innocent lives and murdered the society in Kashmir, the man was Abdul speaking. ‘You don’t understand, Jenab we are in the middle of nowhere, we are everywhere with our legs pulling us in all directions but still nowhere.’ The officer presiding over the discussion ruared by slamming his palm on the table ‘then you should have died as others did! You are here and enjoying the hospitality, you all should have been there fighting and died rather than betraying your friends in Kashmir as our boys have done it for you. We gave you the money, the gun, explosive arsenal and everything you wanted. There is no option, you all are jacked up and screwed because here you are a liability here and there across a terror monger. The choice is still yours. Discussion closed for the evening. Any doubts please shoot!’ Probably and wholesomely possibly this could have been the discussion before the Uri attack. Incidentally this was an imaginary, speculative discussion but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. In this fury ridden episode, it was?
I The Uri Attack:
Angels want peace; devils want war! Wise man wants tranquility and creation; stupid man wants noise and destruction! I hope Pakistani Generals and the civil administration are reading this. But I think such lessons of sanity are never talked about in Pakistan. But why are the Kashmiri kids not understanding it is a bit unfathomable. Let me again remind them that let it be cold as hell outside, if you have a small stove (Kangri/or a fireplace) burning in your little cottage, the hellish cold will only look at you through the window! Remember, you can win a big war of peace and love with a small emotion lit up warmly in the heart!
The Indian Army suffered its worst loss in 20 years in J&K when four heavily armed terrorists launched a grenade attack at a camp in Uri on September 18, 2016.
Five years ago in the early hours of September 18, 2016, four heavily armed terrorists crossed the Line of Control (LoC), trekked for about six kilometres, breached a heavily guarded military camp in the Uri town of Jammu and Kashmir and launched a massive grenade attack.
The target — a temporary fuel depot housing hundreds of liters of petrol, diesel and kerosene — was carefully chosen for its inflammatory potential. Adjacent to the fuel depot were canvas tents where soldiers of the 5 Bihar were sleeping.
The grenade attack, compounded by the massive explosions at the fuel depot, gutted the tents. At least 14 soldiers were engulfed in the flames. Four more were killed by the terrorists as they tried to escape the blaze.
Investigation into the Uri terror attack later revealed that all four terrorists were carrying AK-47 rifles that had grenade launchers clipped under their barrels. The scale of their raid can be understood from the fact that the four terrorists were carrying more than 50 incendiary grenades that were especially designed to set off fires.
Armed with these special grenades, the terrorists exploded the fuel depot. The Uri terror attack, the fuel depot housed hundreds of 200-litre oil barrels. These barrels had diesel for trucks, petrol for Maruti Gypsies of the 12th brigade based near Uri and kerosene for cooking food in high-altitude posts on the Pir Panjal range.
Around 5.30 am, the four terrorists fired a barrage of over a dozen incendiary grenades. Soon, there was fire all around, engulfing the soldiers.
The Uri attack killed 18 soldiers and injured more than 30 others. The forces managed to gun down all four terrorists, but by then they had inflicted heavy losses.
The headquarters of the Indian Army’s 12th Brigade that were attacked on September 18, 2016 are located in Uri, a town that had been largely peaceful in the last few decades. Besides, the 12th Brigade headquarters in Uri is a virtual oasis, protected naturally by the high ranges of the Pir Panjal and the Jhelum river that flows by.
The Uri terror attack came eight months after six terrorists attacked the strategically important Pathankot airbase in neighbouring Punjab on January 1, 2016. There too, the terrorists had been able to inflict damage on a sensitive Indian military installation along the border. Six military personnel were killed in the attack.
The scale of the Uri terror attack was such that the government had no option other than responding strongly. But to send a strong message, it was felt that this action could not be limited to a routine scale up of anti-terror operations in Kashmir.
The terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed was involved in the planning and execution of the attack.
Since 2015, the terrorists had increasingly taken to high-profile fidayeen attacks (suicide attacks) against the Indian security forces: in July 2015, three terrorists attacked a bus and police station in Gurdaspur and earlier in 2016, 4–6 terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station. Indian authorities blamed Jaish-e-Mohammad for the latter attack.
Most of the soldiers killed were from the 10th battalion, Dogra Regiment (10 Dogra) and 6th battalion, Bihar Regiment (6 Bihar). The attackers snuck into the camp breaching heavy security and seemed to know exactly where to strike. Seven of the personnel killed were support staff, including cooks and barbers.
II. The retaliation and the fury unleashed:
This was sheer audacity, obviously it was not time to take it lying down as the adrenaline of anger was pumping in the hearts of the top Indian Army top brass and every beat of the heart was saying since you cannot mix wolves with sheep, why would anyone dare to compare a lion with the lamb? The Lion was prepared to go all out and all alone because his family had been hurt in a fox-like way which was sly and ugly to the core. It was not the time to spill the pearls of wisdom, it was time to relay the charge on the target and the same was across the Line of Control. It was done in an audacious way but not from the back, but straight on from the front and the method employed was deep penetrations! There was no holding back this time!
On 28 September, eleven days after the attack, the Indian Army conducted retaliatory strikes on launch-pads used by terrorists in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Indian Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said that it had made a preemptive strike against terrorist teams who were preparing to carry out infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes inside Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other states.
The terrorists had infiltrated the Indian territory through Haji Pir Pass on the intervening night of 16–17 September and stayed in Sukhdar village which is located at a vantage point that allows an unhindered view of the layout of the camp as well as movement of the personnel in it. This was found out later when the probe was conducted into the attack.
The Director General of military operations then, Lieutenant-General Ranbir Singh, said that there was evidence that the attackers belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of his cabinet condemned the attack. The then minister of defence Manohar Parrikar and Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh visited Kashmir soon after the attack to assess the ongoing military operations and review the security situation in the region. Parrikar instructed the army to take firm action against those responsible for the attack and also stated that the deaths of the soldiers will not go in vain.
The then Home Minister Rajnath Singh accused Pakistan of what he called its “continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups, calling Pakistan a terrorist state that should be “isolated. The then Minister of State for Defense Subhash Bhamre stated that the entire nation was traumatized over the death of the soldiers and was united in this hour of grief. He also stated that the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister had come to a conclusion that some sort of a response needs to be given to Pakistan. It was!
The Indian patience had run out due to Pakistan’s inaction in curbing the activities of terrorist organisations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. On 21 September, India summoned the Pakistan High Commission Abdul Bassit and gave a protest letter detailing the involvement of a terrorist group based in Pakistan.
Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, Indian Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), said that it had received “very credible and specific information about terrorist teams” who were preparing to carry out infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes inside Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other states. The Indian action was meant to pre-empt their infiltration. India presented its operation as preemptive self-defense against terrorism, striking against terrorist infrastructure along with those who are trying to support them. On 30 September, Indian minister for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that there had been no aerial strikes and that the operation had been conducted on the ground.
Indian officials said the strike targeted areas close to the Line of Control (LoC), where it believes militants congregate for their final briefings before sneaking across the LoC. An Indian security source said the operation began with Indian forces firing artillery across the frontier to provide cover for three to four teams of 70–80 soldiers from the 4th and 9th battalions of the Para Special Forces to cross the LoC at several separate points shortly after midnight IST on 29 September (18:30 hours UTC, 28 Sep). Teams from 4 Para crossed the LoC in the Nowgam sector of Kupwara district, while teams from 9 Para simultaneously crossed the LoC in Poonch district. By 2 a.m. IST, according to army sources, the special forces teams had travelled 1–3 km on foot, and had begun destroying terrorist bases with hand-held grenades and 84 mm rocket launchers. The teams then swiftly returned to the Indian side of the Line of Control, suffering only one injury, a soldier wounded after tripping a land mine.
The Indian Army said the strike was a pre-emptive attack on militant bases, claiming that it had received intelligence that the militants were planning terrorist strikes against India. India said that, in destroying terrorist infrastructure it also attacked those who are trying to support them
III. Kirti Chakra to Major Rohit Suri:
In 2017 the Indian government conferred gallantry awards to nineteen soldiers who had participated in the strikes. Among those who received awards include Major Rohit Suri, the leader of the operation who was honored with the Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry award. On 27 June 2018, footage of the strikes was released by the Indian government to the Indian media as proof of the strike. Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman, however, rejected the alleged video and termed Indian claims as farcical. The Indian government released additional videos on 27 September 2018. Pakistan itself proved that they were on an absurd and a false trac as they always were!
Plenty of other things too happened, I mean reactions and counter reactions but one thing was definite nothing like Uri happened yet again though another one at Pulwama was still a distant away. The retaliation to Uri from the Indian side did fill the hearts of Pakistani people, the fear of the unknown that clearly suggested that they could be struck from anywhere and possibly from everywhere. Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime. India had suffered a bagful of them, that was why the unanimous decision was approved. Uri was a lesson that got drilled into the psyche of our soldiers, stab the body and it heals, but injure the heart and the wound lasts a lifetime. Pakistan definitely has blown up the hearts here in Kashmir! They simply cannot be trusted! Uri was the beginning as I said earlier in the piece!