In a first counter-militancy operation since the Centre announced a conditional suspension of operations during Ramzan, security forces were engaged in a gunbattle with militants in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir while police said a multi-tier security arrangement had been put in place in Jammu for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit on Saturday,
A multi-tier security arrangement had been ensured for the prime minister's visit and all necessary measures had been taken, IGP Jammu zone, S D Singh Jamwal told reporters in Jammu on Friday.
In view of the security concern amid reports of five suspected militants having infiltrated from across the International Border in Kathua district, Jamwal said they had searched the entire area and would deal with it.
The security forces had been on put on high alert in Jammu and checking and frisking were being done at various entry and exit points, he added.
Modi will participate in the sixth convocation ceremony of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), lay foundation of the ring road and inaugurate the Tarakote Marg, the alternative link road to the cave shrine of Vaishno Devi.
The Zorawar Singh and the SKUAST auditoriums, where the PM would be presiding over the functions, had been made out of bounds and multi-tier security in and around the areas was in place under the command of the SPG, Jamwal said.
Modi would also inaugurate a hydro project and take part in the 100th birth anniversary celebration of Ladakhi spiritual leader Kushak Bakula.
Encounter between militants, security forces in Kupwara
Security forces were engaged in a gunbattle with militants in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, the Army said, in a first counter-militancy operation since the Centre announced a conditional suspension of operations during Ramzan.
The encounter broke out in Haphruda forests in Handwara area of Kupwara in north Kashmir, an Army official said, adding that the gun battle was underway when reports last came in and further details were awaited.
The Centre had on May 16 announced that security forces will not launch any operations in J&K during the holy month of Ramzan, but they reserve the right to retaliate if attacked.
Union Home Ministry officials had said that the move was not a concession to the extremists, but an effort to create an environment free of terror and violence during the holy month and there will be no lowering of guard. They had said that the security forces, however, reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people.
Five Pakistani terrorists infiltrate from across International Border in Kathua
Five Pakistani terrorists had reportedly crossed over to the Indian side through a tunnel on Wednesday, according to the Border Security Force (BSF).
Director General BSF KK Sharma also said that a successful infiltration bid took place on Monday in Samba district. He said that an alert was issued in the entire Jammu region and security agencies were asked to remain extra vigilant and verify intelligence inputs.
“The infiltration before Modi’s visit was a serious issue but our sister agencies and the police are fully aware of it and appropriate measures have been taken,” the BSF chief said.
Tributes paid to Jawan killed in Pakistan firing
Meanwhile, the Border Security Forces and the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday paid tributes to a jawan who was killed in unprovoked firing along the India-Pakistan International Border (IB) in the Arnia sector.
A wreath-laying ceremony was held for the 28-year-old constable Sitaram Upadhyay, who hailed from Giridih in Jharkhand, at the BSF Frontier headquarters.
Jammu and Kashmir's Housing and Urban Development Minister Sat Sharma; Divisional Commissioner of Jammu Hemant Kumar; senior BSF, CRPF and police officials paid floral tributes to Upadhyay.
Constable Upadhyay made the supreme sacrifice while defending the country's sanctity, Inspector General of the BSF, Jammu Frontier, Ram Awtar, said.
Upadhyay was martyred amid heavy firing from Pakistan at 1.35 am on Friday while valiantly responding from the duty point at the IB, the IG said.
The constable, who joined the force in 2011, is survived by a three-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter.
BSF has a history of bravery and is always committed to maintaining the sanctity of the IB and safety of the border population, Awtar said.
The brave act (by Upadhyay) has once again proved that the men on the border are always ready to sacrifice their lives for the nation's security, he said.
Awtar reiterated that as the peaceful country, India never initiates fire, but will never hesitate to give a befitting reply if it is compelled.
(With inputs from agencies)