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4 militants killed, 2 cops injured in Nagrota encounter: Police

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Slain militants were planning big strike in Kashmir: IGP Jammu

Jammu/Srinagar: Four suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed and two policemen injured in a gunbattle on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway after a truck carrying “newly infiltrated militants” was intercepted on the outskirts of Jammu city on Thursday, top police officials said.

The militants 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 militants 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 trouble in the political process.”

Giving details of the encounter, IGP Mukesh Singh told a press conference in Jammu that ever since the announcement of DDC polls, police have been receiving inputs about a possible infiltration bid by militants in Jammu.

“We had kept our all teams deployed at check-points. There were intelligence inputs that militants may sneak in with large quantities of arms and ammunition,” the IGP Jammu said.

A truck was stopped at Ban toll plaza in Nagrota area at 5 am for checking, but the driver left the vehicle and fled, the police official said.

“Immediately, CRPF and police personnel moved to search the vehicle and came under fire from the militants hiding in the truck.”

According to the IGP Jammu, the militants were asked to surrender but they ignored the announcement leading to a gunbattle.

Other security forces also joined in resulting in a fierce gunbattle in which militants lobbed grenades and fired arms, he said.

In the three-hour-long gunbattle, four militants were killed and two policemen injured, the police officer said.

The truck, loaded with rice sacks, caught fire during the encounter. The bodies of the militants, hiding in a cavity within the truck, were recovered.

The two injured policemen, Kuldeep Raj and Mohammad Ishaq Malik, were admitted to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu. They were out of danger, officials said.

A huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosive material, including 11 AK rifles, three pistols, 24 magazines, 29 grenades and six UBGL grenades, was recovered, the IGP, Jammu, said.

Besides, medicines, explosive material, bundle of wires, electronic circuits and bags in huge quantities were recovered from them.

“This is for the first in the last few years that such a large quantity of weapons were recovered from slain militants,” Mukesh Singh said.

The recovered weapons indicate that the militants belong to JeM. They had a big terror plan, police said, adding efforts were on to track down the truck driver.

A senior police officer said it seems the militants infiltrated from across the International Border (IB) in Jammu region before boarding a Kashmir-bound truck.

Speaking on the sidelines of a function in Srinagar, IGP Kashmir, Vijay 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 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.

These polls will be the first major political activity in Jammu and Kashmir since August 05 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.

Asked about Wednesday’s grenade attack in Kakapora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Kumar said the police have identified the militant behind the incident.

“It was an unfortunate incident. The target was CRPF and police, but 12 civilians were injured — out of whom four were rushed to a Srinagar hospital, but their condition is stable. We have identified the militant who threw the grenade and we are after him and will arrest him soon,” he said. (With PTI inputs)

No outside forces can derail our mission of peace and progress: LG

Jammu: No outside force can derail the mission of peace and progress of the Jammu and Kashmir administration, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Thursday as he visited a hospital here to enquire about the well-being of policemen injured in an encounter.

LG Sinha during his visit to Government Medical College, complimented the injured policemen for their bravery and assured them of all possible assistance.

Sinha hailed the valour and quick reaction of the security forces in foiling the nefarious design of the militants.

“I salute the exemplary courage and bravery displayed by our forces. The nation is proud of your professionalism and commitment to protect its sovereignty and integrity,” the LG said.

Sinha said the administration and the security forces were working day and night to lay the foundation of a progressive and peaceful future for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “No outside forces can derail us from our mission of peace and progress,” he said.

The LG was accompanied by Advisor, RR Bhatnagar; Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam; Financial Commissioner Health, Atal Dulloo; IGP Jammu, Mukesh Singh, and Principal GMC Jammu, Dr. Shashi Sudhan Sharma among other senior officers.

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