Two militants killed as forces foil infiltration bid
Army sources said that the intelligence inputs suggested they could be members of the proscribed LeT
SRINAGAR: In a joint operation, the Army and Jammu and Kashmir police’s counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) on Saturday gunned down two suspected Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) militants soon after they sneaked into Kupwara district after breaching the Line of Control (LoC).
“An infiltration bid was foiled in the Kumkadi area of the Machil sector in Kupwara district. In this swift and coordinated operation, two terrorists were neutralised,” a J&K police spokesman said here.
The Army and police officials said that based on intelligence input generated by the Kupwara police, a joint party of the police and the Army launched a search operation in the Kumkadi area early Saturday.
“The joint team observed the movement of terrorists, employing meticulous tactics. On being intercepted, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint team. The fire was retaliated, leading to the elimination of two heavily armed unidentified terrorists.”
Though the police statement said that the identification and affiliation of the slain militants are being ascertained, Army sources said that the intelligence inputs suggested they could be members of the proscribed LeT.
The recoveries from the scene of the clash include two AK-series rifles with an equal number of magazines and 90 rounds of ammunition, one Pakistan-made pistol, a pouch, Rs 2,100 (Pak currency) and other incriminating materials, the officials said.
The encounter was followed by a major search operation by the security forces in the area, a report said.
A police statement issued here said: “The neutralised terrorists were found to be heavily armed and equipped with sophisticated weaponry, which indicates their malicious intent to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere in the Valley. However, due to the timely and effective response by the police and the Army, their plans were foiled and a significant threat to peace and stability in the area was neutralised."
Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday conducted raids at the premises of several suspects in frontier Poonch district in connection with the terror attack carried out by a group of militants in the Upper Dhangri village of neighbouring Rajouri district earlier this year.
On the evening of January 1, two heavily armed militants had fired automatic weapons to target three houses of Hindus in Upper Dhangri, leaving four persons dead and six others, including two women, injured. Next morning, an improvised explosive device kept in a jute sack and left by them inside one of these houses went off, killing two children and injuring five other residents. One of the injured civilians died in a Jammu hospital later, taking the death toll to seven.
The NIA sources said that raids were conducted at five locations across Gursai village in the Mendhar tehsil of Poonch, including at the houses of overground workers of the LeT. Several digital devices and documents containing incriminating data and content were seized during the searches of these premises and these are being scrutinised for unravelling the conspiracy, the agency said.
The NIA further said that the raids were conducted based on disclosures made by two accused -- Nisar Ahmed alias Haji Nisar and Mushtaq Hussain -- it arrested in the case on August 31 and are currently lodged in Central Jail, Kot Bhalwal, Jammu and the inputs gathered by the investigators.
According to the NIA, the investigations have revealed that both the accused had “harboured the terrorists who had carried out the deadly attack”.
The NIA said: “They had provided logistics support to the terrorists for more than two months and had sheltered them in a hideout built by them. The duo was operating under the direction of Pakistan-based LeT handlers, namely Saifullah alias Sajid Jutt, Abu Qatal alias Qatal Sindhi and Muhammad Qasim."