- After terror attack on army camp in Uri, India conducted surgical strike
- Terror launchpads in Pak-Occupied Kashmir re-occupied now: army
- Almost all areas hit in surgical strikes now "active": army
Major General RP Kalita, who heads the army's 19 Division based in Baramulla, says that terror launchpads directly opposite Uri in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have now been reoccupied.
Indian soldiers trekked through the night to take out staging areas for terrorists in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on September 25 and returned home safely before dawn. The action was direct military retaliation for the assault on the army base in Uri, the worst in more than a decade in the region, in which 19 soldiers were killed.
"After the surgical strike, for some time we had intelligence inputs that some of them (terrorists) had moved back but during the winter, we continued to get inputs about their occupation (of launch pads)," Major General Kalita told NDTV, adding that almost all the areas hit after the Uri terror attacks which fall under his area of responsibility are now "active".
The division he heads is responsible for defending 100 kilometres of the Line of Control in Kashmir's Uri sector.
"Across our area, there are nine or ten launch pads that we are aware of," he said. "The structure can be a hut, a dhok (a makeshift structure) which is temporarily occupied from which they carry out the final coordination and thereafter they are launched for infiltration."
Announcing the surgical strikes in September, the army said the Pakistani terrorists waiting there were assigned to attack major metros in India.
Since the Uri attack, the army has been worried about new tactics, weapons and technology being used by terrorists who cross the Line of Control or de facto border into Kashmir. Pakistani terrorists caught in infiltration attempts have been equipped with incendiary items - essentially highly inflammable liquids in cans which can be sprayed on a target which are then set alight by firing a grenade.
Another new practice is that terrorists are no longer restricting attempts to enter India to the summer, when the snow has melted in the high, remote passes blanketed with snow. An infiltration attempt in the Uri sector was beaten back this winter. Terrorists attempting to fight during the cold winters come equipped with professional mountaineering boots and clothing designed for snow.
Over the last year, terrorists entering Jammu and Kashmir have also been able to communicate with their handlers by pairing a mobile phone with a radio set through a Bluetooth link. According to General Kalita, "Since last year, we have seen them communicating using Wi-SMS, which is difficult to intercept though our people are working on that. It is quick bursts of transmission by radio."