Inside Kashmir

Security forces neutralise four terrorists in Jammu encounter, recover AK rifles, grenades

Jammu: Security forces on Thursday morning eliminated four terrorists in a fierce gun battle triggered near Ban village in Nagrota area here on the city outskirts.

Speaking to reporters here at a press conference, Inspector General of Police Jammu Zone Mukesh Singh said that a newly infiltrated group of four militants were killed at Ban Toll Plaza near Nagrota on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway after a truck in which they were travelling was intercepted at a checkpoint.

“The truck driver managed to flee from the spot while security forces recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition that included 11 AK 47 riffles and 29 grenades,” said the top cop.

The IGP said that ever since the announcement for the District Development Council (DDC), police had been receiving inputs about a possible infiltration bid in Jammu.

“We had kept our all teams deployed at naka points. There were intelligence inputs that militants may sneak in along with large quantity of arms and ammunition,” said the Jammu Zone Police Chief.

He said at around 0050 hours, a truck was stopped and when it was searched, the driver stepped out and fled.

“During the search of the vehicle, the hiding militants opened a heavy volume of fire that was retaliated and the encounter triggered, which lasted for three hours,” he said.

“Two policemen sustained injuries and both are stable,” said the IGP, adding that the militants were carrying large quantity of arms and ammunition with them.

This is for the first in the past few years that such a large quantity of weapons were recovered from the neutralised terrorists, which included 11 AK riffles, 29 grenades (apart from those lobbed at forces), three pistols, pouches, mobile phones and other incriminating material, the IGP Jammu said.

Asked about the motive of militants, the IGP said that given the quantity of weapons recovered from them, it seems that the group had infiltrated recently and were “planning something very big”. “But their plan stands foiled,” he said, adding that the operation was carried out jointly by Police, CRPF and the Army. “The sanitization operation is still on and identity and the affiliation of militants is being ascertained,” he said.

The injured police personnel were identified as Kuldeep Raj (32) of Akhnoor and Mohammad Ishaq Malik (40) of Neel Qasim Banihal, Ramban.

Both have been admitted in GMC Jammu with injuries on neck and their condition is said to be stable.

However, reliable sources told UNI that the terrorists neutralised were of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist outfit.

Pertinent to mention here that previously also such attacks on the highway were reported.

Nagrota Army Camp was attacked on 19 November 2016, Sunjuwan Army Camp was attacked on 10 February 2018, Jhajjar Kotli attack on 12 September 2018 in which three terrorists were killed, Ban Toll Plaza, Nagrota attack on 30 January 2020 in which three terrorists were killed, Tunnel was discovered by BSF at Samba, Near Basantar River on 28 August 2020, Weapons Recovered on 08 September, 2020, (1 x M4, 1 x AK, 6 x Pistol), Weapons Recovered on 23 September 2020 (1 x Type 97, 1 x Pistol).

Defence sources here told UNI that due to the strong anti-infiltration grid established by the security forces, Pakistan is unable to infiltrate neither terrorists nor weapons into the valley to increase violence levels in the valley. “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,” they said.

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