After 18 soldiers were killed in a terror attack in Army base of north Kashmir’s Uri district, investigators from the Army are looking at the possibility that the militants might have been guided to the attack site by some familiar person with the layout of the 12 Infantry Brigade headquarters. Sources also suggest that they were even aware of the location of the office and residence of the brigade commander.
As per the initial probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), it is believed that the terrorists spent at least one day in the mountains observing the army men and their movements.
According to sources, the route from Sukhdar, a small settlement on the Line of Control has been roped in the investigation as it might have been used by the terrorists to sneak into Uri. Sukhdar is located about four kilometres from the brigade headquarters and a forest between the village and the LoC could have helped the militants to sneak in.
sources maintain that such a deadly attack could not have been carried out without any help from an insider who knows the location and other whereabouts of the troop. It is also estimated that the terrorists first breached the LoC fencing and then the main fencing of the brigade headquarters.
“It is very difficult to sneak inside the brigade headquarters because it is a heavily guarded and fortified complex. Only people with complete knowledge could have managed to get inside the camp without being noticed,” sources said. “Investigators are looking at the internal angle. Even porters and Territorial Army personnel could be investigated.’’
“There are more than 500 porters, mostly from villages close to the LoC, working with the Uri Brigade. Many among them would return home in the evening. After the attack, we have not seen them. They are likely inside,’’ said a shopkeeper.
Ajah Ahmad, who owns a shop near the brigade headquarters, said, “Despite living so close to the brigade headquarters, we don’t know anything about it. How could people, who came from across the LoC, conduct such an attack? They had proper information about this place.’’