Slain militants carried ready-to-use IED, ammunition capable of piercing bulletproof vehicles: Police
Jammu, Feb 1 : Three JeM militants, killed in a gunfight near a toll plaza here, had left an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) under a hoarding on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway which another member of the module was to use to target security forces, police said on Saturday.
The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants also carried ‘armoured piercing steel core ammunition’ which can go through Level 3 protection bulletproof vehicles that police and other security forces use, they said.
The ammunition was in large quantity and could have posed a grave threat, top police officials said.
The militants were killed in a gunbattle with police at Bann Toll Plaza near Nagrota, about 28 km from Jammu city, officials said.
The operation was called off after killing all the three militants but vigilance will still be carried out in the area, they added.
The truck-borne militants carried with them a powerful ready-to-use IED from across the border to carry out attack against the security forces on the highway, they said.
They had “dumped it at a convenient location” near a hoarding on the highway to be used by a third person of their module, who is currently in Jammu, they said.
Truck driver Sameer Dar, conductor Asif Malik and another over ground worker (OGW) were arrested.
“Based on the disclosure during questioning of the three OWGs, a police team and bomb disposal squad swung into action and defused the IED fitted with RDX, grenades and other material and placed under a hoarding at Nagrota on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway,” the officials said.
“Efforts are on track down the person of the JeM module in Jammu who was to plant IED to target security forces,” they said.
The JeM militants also carried with them a deadly US-made sniper rifle, six rifles, five pistols, 11 hand grenades, explosives and high-end satellite communication phones and GPS. DGP said that JeM militants only carried such weapons, that too by its top commanders.
They said M4 sniper rifle was used by militants in Kashmir in 2018 in five incidents fatally targeting police personnel.
The officials said that had the M4 carbine again fallen into the hands of militants, it could have proved disastrous for security personnel.
“Three OGWs of the militants including their handler Sameer Dar, Sartaj Ahmed Mantu and Asif Malik, all residents of Kakpora, Pulwama, were arrested by police and have been shifted to safer location for sustained questioning as they were part of JeM plot to cause wide spread disturbances in the Valley,” the officials said.
Sameer was cousin of February 14 Pulwama attack “mastermind” Adil Dar. Sameer’s brother, Manzoor Malik, a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant, was killed in south Kashmir in 2016.
Police and security forces detained five more truck operators from Rhembal and Udhampur last night and two of them had called Sameer Dar on telephone but involvement of all of them was being investigated, the officials said.
Police said the militant group is suspected to have infiltrated from along the International Border (IB) in Dayalachak area in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district and were picked by truckers around 2 am on Friday to carry out an attack.
The group was on its way to Srinagar when the police team intercepted it at the plaza around 5 am on Friday, they said.
They were capable of several attacks: CRPF DG
Jammu, Feb 01 (PTI) The Jaish-e-Mohammed militants who were killed in a gunbattle with police near here were capable of several attacks given the amount of armoury and destructive fire power they had, CRPF Director General A P Maheshwari said on Saturday.
He said the forces have zero tolerance against terrorism and are fighting for restoration of peace and normalcy in the union territory.
A possible militant attack was averted by alert personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Police early Friday when they intercepted a truck, being driven by the cousin of the 2019 Pulwama attack bomber, near Jammu in which the three Jaish militants were hiding, officials said.
Maheshwari, accompanied by Additional Director General of CRPF Zulfiqar Hasan, visited the encounter site at Nagrota and congratulated the force personnel who acted swiftly along with local policemen to neutralise the militants onboard the Srinagar-bound truck.
“All security agencies are doing their job with satisfaction and are proactive in their approach. We do not wait for an incident to happen but are continuously making attempts to find and neutralise them (militants),” the CRPF chief told reporters here.
“Anything could have happened given the amount of the armoury and the destructive power they had,” Maheshwari said.
Quoting preliminary investigation, he said the militants were capable of doing several major attacks.
About militants using trucks to infiltrate, he said there was no laxity on the part of the security forces.
“They are committed and trying their best to prevent terrorists from sneaking. The adversary also keeps trying different ways of breaching the security grid,” he said.
“We are in a conflict zone and nothing can be ruled out. We need to remain highly alert and various agencies are working together and all forces are doing their job with responsibility and dedication,” the officer said.
He said the highlight of the operation was that two people, the truck driver and a helper, were caught alive so that they can be interrogated to get further leads.