Hundreds of security personnel, armed with latest gadgets and backed by surveillance helicopters and drones, neutralised three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists, 33 hours after they fired at a police check point and escaped into the jungles at Jhajjar Kotli in Jammu. Eight security men, including a Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), were injured during the operation.
Police said massive operation was launched in the jungles of Jhajjar Kotli with police, CRPF, and the Army combing the area to flush out three terrorists on Wednesday.
“The area was kept under tight cordon at night,” a police spokesman said.
“Contact was established at day break, after terrorists were tracked in Kakrayal. The exchange of fire continued till 5 pm on Thursday. All three terrorists were neutralised. SDPO Nagrota, two officers of the CRPF, and some police and security personnel were injured,” the spokesman added.
Reportedly, a local shopkeeper passed off the information to the security forces after the terrorists barged into his home late Wednesday night.
“They stormed our home at around 8 pm and demanded food. They took some biscuits and demanded clothes to change. They asked for a vehicle but we told them that we do not have any. Later, they left but asked us to switch off our phones and not to raise an alarm,” said a villager.
Major General Arvind Bhatia, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Indian Army’s Uniform Force, said that there was no support system for the terrorists in the area and were looking for a chance to save themselves. They either would have gone to Jammu or or to the Valley, he said.
“There is no support system for them here. That is why when they were going to any house, the support was fading away,” he added.
Police said it seemed to be a case of fresh infiltration. They suspect that the terrorists infiltrated on Wednesday morning from Pakistan, most likely from the Hiranagar sector of the International Border.
“These terrorists had come from Pakistan. Preliminary investigation points that the terrorists belonged to JEM,” the spokesman added.
Elsewhere, two more JeM terrorists, including the main accused in the killing of four policemen in an IED blast, were killed in a fierce gun-battle in North Kashmir’s Sopore.
“During search operations, terrorists fired at the search party. Initially, civilians were evacuated from the encounter site before engaging with the terrorists in an encounter,” said a police spokesman.
The terrorists killed in Sopore have been identified as Pakistan nationals Ali alias Athar and Zia-ur-Rehman. Police said Ali was one of the important commanders of JeM who was active since 2014. He was mastermind of the Sopore IED blast in which four policemen had attained martyrdom.
Two more JeM terrorists, including the main accused in the killing of four policemen in an IED blast, were killed in a fierce gun-battle in North Kashmir’s Sopore on Thursday.