A 19-year-old Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist from Pakistani Punjab, captured in a massive army operation to stop infiltrations at Jammu and Kashmir's Uri, has made big revelations to the army including details of his terror training in which the Pakistan Army was allegedly involved. The terrorist surrendered when his associate, trying to cross over with him, was killed by the army.
The infiltrators were planning a major strike, the army has said.
Ali Babar Patra, the captured terrorist, had claimed that he had to "drop arms in Baramulla". But the size of the consignment raised suspicion.
Six terrorists tried to cross over, according to the army.
They took the same route as the terrorists who attacked the Uri army base in 2016, killing 19 Indian soldiers. Days later, India launched surgical strikes across the border to target terror launch pads.
"The route was from the Sawai Nala Terrorist Camp to Hallan Shumali Launch pad to Jabri, leading into Salamabad Nala. It was along Salamabad Nala through which terrorists infiltrated in 2016 with the help of Pakistan army and carried out suicide attack on Uri Garrison," the army said.
The terrorists were mainly from Pakistani Punjab.
The terrorist caught alive has told the army he was "misguided and lured into joining LeT due to poverty" after losing his father early. The army said he had a widowed mother and an adopted sister back in Dipalpur and the family could barely manage. To escape poverty, the teen dropped out of school.
He went through three weeks of "preliminary training" at the Garhi Habibullah Camp (KPK) in 2019, said the army, and received "refresher training" in 2021. Most of the instructors involved in the physical and weapons training of the terrorists were Pakistan Army personnel, the terrorist has reportedly revealed.
"The false and fake narratives of 'Islam being in danger' and perceived killing including the atrocities being committed against the Muslims in Kashmir was the main theme of indoctrination during the training. Possibly, the surrendered Pakistan national was coerced and lured into joining the terrorists' ranks due to his poor financial condition. Apparently, his appeal for surrender, as soon as his mate was killed, highlights that he was not convinced about the Jihad narrative," the army says.
Ali claimed he was given Rs 20,000 for his mother's treatment and was promised Rs 30,000 more on his return from Pattan near Baramulla, where the group was to deliver the war-like cache.
The infiltration bids started on September 18. The terrorists sought to take advantage of the "dark night, uneven ground, bad weather and thick undergrowth". Yesterday, two terrorists started crossing but the four others ran back, taking advantage of the thick undergrowth.
In the last week, a total of seven terrorists have been neutralised and one terrorist caught, the army says.