The army engaged unknown assailants on Friday as they hunted militants along the Line of Control (LoC) in northern Kashmir. They also found two minor boys hailing from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in Uri’s Gawathan area .
Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Chudhary, both aged 16, are from Muzaffarabad and were caught by soldiers of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantary and the Border Security Force (BSF).
The teenagers, students of Shaheen Model School, had run away from away from their village after being accused of harassing a local girl and fearing reprimand by family.
Faisal told police officials that he was son of a carpenter from Potha Jhandgran in Muzaffarabad district while Ahsan’s father works as a cook in Saudi Arabia.
Sources say the boys have been handed over to police and are likely to be repatriated back in a day or two.
“After investigating thoroughly, it was found that the boys are telling the truth and are not in India for any untoward activity,” an official, who did not want to be identified, said.
Sources say calls were made across the border to corroborate the boys’ story.
Elsewhere in Kupwara district, the BSF said they opened fire after observing some suspicious movement near the LoC on Friday.
“We opened fire and in retaliation there was an exchange of fire which has since stopped,” said a BSF spokesman, adding that a search operation had been launched in the area.
There has been heightened military activity in North Kashmir after 18 soldiers were killed in militant attack on an army base in Uri sector along the LoC on September 18.
Since then, security forces claimed to have foiled multiple infiltration bids in various sectors of north Kashmir, including two attempts in Nowgam sector.
“On the intervening night of September 21-22, two separate groups trying to sneak-in were intercepted and forced to flee back,” an army official said, adding that they have increased vigilance.
Earlier on September 20, the army claimed to have foiled infiltration bids in Uri and Nowgam sector. A soldier was killed in Nowgam in the operation.
Kashmir have been in constant state of unrest for more than two months, owing to the protests following the killing of Burhan Wani, a militant commander, on July 8.
For more on the Uri attack, click here
For more on the unrest in Kashmir, click here