Security lapse led to Uri terror attack? Serious questions emerged during initial investigation

NEW DELHI,ISHFAQ-UL-HASSAN: Even as the investigators piece together the leads in the Uri fidayeen attack, questions are being raised about the possible security lapses that might have led to the terror strike which left 18 soldiers dead and 20 others injured.

Jammu and Kashmir police have formally registered a case under different sections of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) while the National Investigation Agency (NIA) team inspected the encounter site at Uri on Monday. Indian Army too is instituting a court of enquiry to probe the fidayeen attack that killed 18 soldiers of six Bihar and 10 Dogra units.

Highly placed sources said intelligence inputs about the possible terror attacks were picked up some days ago and accordingly shared with the forces on ground. Yet the Jaish-e-Mohommad fidayeens carried out the brazen attack on the highly fortified 12 infantry brigade headquarters on the wee hours of Sunday.

What has baffled the investigators is the manner in which the fidayeens could breach the LoC and three tier counter infiltration security system to storm into the camp from the rare side which was least protected.

Serious questions of security lapses have emerged during the initial investigation into the fidayeen attack case.

“How was confidential information about the change of guard leaked? The 10 Dogra unit, which had served in the area for two and half years, was leaving for Pathankot for new posting and six Bihar unit was replacing them in Uri. Second, how come militants knew that they are camping in the tents on the rare side of the headquarters? Third, how did militants manage to storm the camp from the rare side?” said a source.

Investigators suspect that the militants might have crossed the Mike Post on the LoC in Uri sector and maneuvered though ravines, gorges and dense forests to attack the camp. Nestled in the mighty Pir Panjal range, Uri is surrounded by the LoC from three sides and the nearest stretch is just four to five kilometers from the brigade headquarters.

Sources said security forces failed to pick up the leads from the foiled fidayeen attack in Poonch on September 11. Four militants and a policeman were killed and six others including three army men were injured while two hostages were rescued when security forces took on the heavily armed militants holed up in two buildings close to Indian Army’s 93 brigade headquarters in Poonch town of Jammu division on September 11.

Sources said the militants in Poonch were part of the fidayeen squad and they were possibly doing the reconnaissance for the attack when security forces spotted them in the area before engaging them in the gunfight.

Uri and Poonch is connected through the Haji Pir pass on the LoC and the trekking distance between the two areas is far less. Security forces suspect that the two groups might have been launched from the same or neighboring launch pads by Pakistan to infiltrate into Indian side.

“Investigators are trying to connect the dots”, said a source.

Failed to pick leads
Sources said security forces failed to pick up the leads from the foiled fidayeen attack in Poonch on September 11. Four militants and a policeman were killed and six others including three army men were injured while two hostages were rescued when security forces took on the heavily armed militants holed up in two buildings close to Indian Army’s 93 brigade headquarters in Poonch town of Jammu division on September 11.