Security personnel inspect the site of encounter at Nagrota Ban toll plaza in Jammu on Thursday.
Huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosive material including 11 AK rifles, 3 pistols, 29 grenades and 6 UBGL grenades recovered
Two cops injured in the 3-hour-long gunbattle that broke out when truck carrying militants was intercepted by security forces
FOUR suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists were killed and two policemen were injured in a gunbattle on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway after a truck carrying a group of freshly-infiltrated militants was intercepted by security forces on the outskirts of Jammu city on Thursday, top police officials said. The terrorists had come to execute a “big plan” which has now been foiled, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu, Mukesh Singh, said. In Srinagar, IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the four terrorists were on their way to the Kashmir Valley to disturb the District Development Council (DDC) polls scheduled later this month, as Pakistan has been trying to cause disruption of district-level elections. Giving details of the encounter, IGP Singh told a press conference in Jammu that during checking a truck was stopped at Ban toll plaza in Nagrota area at 5 am but the driver fled leaving behind the vehicle.
CRPF and police personnel moved to search the vehicle and came under fire of terrorists hiding in the truck. They retaliated resulting in an encounter. Other forces also joined resulting in a fierce gunbattle in which terrorists fired grenades and arms, he said. In the three-hour-long gunbattle, four terrorists were killed and two policemen were injured, he said, adding that the policemen were out of danger. A huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosive material was recovered including 11 AK rifles, 3 pistols, 29 grenades and 6 UBGL grenades, he said. As per weapon recovery and past instances, it appears that they belong to JeM, he added.
The four heavily armed suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists were given a chance to surrender, officials said. In a video released by police, IGP Singh is seen announcing through a public address system, “Whosoever is hiding in the truck, should lay down their weapons and come out with both hands up.” The terrorists ignored the announcement, leading to a fierce gunbattle, officials said. Meanwhile, after four terrorists were killed in an encounter in Jammu district on Thursday, another gunfight broke out in South Kashmir’s Pulwama. The officials said a firefight took place in Pulwama’s Parigam after the security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation on the basis of a specific information about the presence of terrorists. As the security forces zeroed in on the spot where the terrorists were hiding they came under a heavy volume of fire that triggered the encounter.
“Encounter has started at Parigam area of Pulwama. Police and security forces are on the job,” police said. Speaking on the sidelines of a function in Srinagar, IGP Kumar said, “For the last few days, Pakistan has increased attempts to infiltrate militants into this side and to disturb the elections for which the process is on. In this context, Jammu Police and security forces have done a good job by neutralising four Pakistanis (militants). Their (militants’) aim was to come to Kashmir to disturb the election process”. He said that there were apprehensions about militants targeting the elections, but the security forces were fully prepared to deal with the situation.
“Whether there is an election or August 15 or January 26 or even a VIP visit, apprehensions are always there, but we are fully prepared... We are providing security to the candidates and they have started going to the field for campaigning from yesterday and there is nothing to fear,” he said. Kumar, however, said providing security to each candidate contesting the polls, which begin on November 28, was difficult. “Providing security to each candidate is difficult. We are providing them collective security and they are being put up in secure areas.
Whenever any candidate goes out for campaigning, we provide a double escort with him and secure the area for him to campaign,” he said when pointed out that the candidates were alleging that they had not been provided security. DDC polls will be held from November 28 to December 22. Results will be declared on December 22. These polls will be the first major political activity in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5 last year, when the Centre revoked the special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370 of the Constitution and split it into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.