Huge cache of arms & ammunition found at encounter site near toll plaza in Jammu
Four heavily-armed infiltrators believed to be the members of the fidayeen squad (suicide bombers) of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were neutralised by the joint team of security forces during a three-hour long fierce gunfight early on Thursday near Ban Toll Plaza on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
For the first time, the security forces used flamethrowers to neutralise the terrorists hiding behind the rice/sand bags inside the “mobile bunker” of a Kashmir-bound truck.
A huge consignment of arms and ammunition, including 11 AK-47 rifles, 29 grenades, 3 kg RDX, mobile phones & radio handsets, medicine and ration supplies were also recovered from the encounter site.
Two jawans of the special operations group of Jammu & Kashmir Police namely Sgct Mohd Ishaq Malik and Ct Kuldeep Raj received injuries. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha visited Government Medical College Jammu to enquire about their wellbeing.
The terrorists were obviously sent on a special mission to execute a bigger terror plot ahead of the District Development Council polls beginning November 28 in J&K.
J&K Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said the forces have foiled an attempt made by the Pakistan-based terrorist outfit to sabotage peaceful conduct of District Development Council polls.
He said, “We were receiving regular inputs about the possibility of infiltration by a group of terrorists from across the border to smuggle arms and ammunition ahead of the DDC polls in Jammu & Kashmir.
“In order to prevent them from disturbing peace in the region, we had also beefed up and alerted our security checkpoints along the Jammu Srinagar National Highway to prevent any terror strike,” the DGP added.
Soon after the encounter was called off, a team of officers from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) visited the site near Ban Toll Plaza. The team members interacted with some of the officers present during the operation and gathered feedback.
The forensic samples were also lifted by the different teams before the traffic was allowed to ply on the busy highway. The NIA is expected to take over the probe in the case only after the receipt of a formal order.
Terror revisited the spot after a gap of more than nine long months. Earlier, three JeM terrorists too were neutralised during a gunfight at the same location on January 31, 2020.
Vehicular traffic on the busy highway remained disrupted for over six hours. The commuters were allowed to ply vehicles only after the security forces completed the routine drill of sanitising the encounter site past 11 am.
Addressing a Press conference here at the police control room in Jammu, Inspector General of Police Jammu range Mukesh Singh said, “The group of terrorists were pushed inside the Indian territory ahead of the DDC polls to carry out some bigger plans”.
Sharing details of the successful operation Singh said at about 5 am during checking at Ban Toll Plaza a truck bearing No. JK01AL-1055 was checked during which the driver tried to flee away and the terrorists hidden in the truck opened fire on the police party.
The IG said the group of terrorists may have infiltrated via the International Border.
According to the official sources, the truck had passed through a toll plaza in Samba district around 3.44 am before reaching Ban Toll Plaza. Preliminary investigations have so far revealed that the registration number Jk01AL 1055 was also fake.
The same registration number was registered in the name of a goods carrier (Mahindra and Mahindra) in the office of RTO, Srinagar.
Meanwhile, Jammu & Kashmir Police has registered an FIR no. 426/2020U/S 307,120b, 121,122,123 7/25/27 Arms Act 16/18 ULA at PS Nagrota ahead of initiating probe in the case.
Official sources said, “Due to the strong anti-infiltration grid established by the Indian security forces, Pakistan is unable to infiltrate terrorists and weapons into the Valley to increase violence levels”.
They said, “Pakistan ISI has been given an ultimatum to push in maximum infiltrators along with weapons into Kashmir before onset of winters, when the undergrowth/bushes in most infiltration prone areas will die down due to dew and snowfall”.
“Pakistan based terrorist Group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) is based at Bahawalpur in Pakistan and is exploiting the International Boundary area in Punjab-Jammu sector to push in maximum terrorists,” official sources said.
Friday, 20 November 2020 | Mohit Kandhari | Ban Toll Plaza, Nagrota, Jammu
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