Jammu and Kashmir DGP S.P. Vaid said on Saturday that the terrorists who had stormed the Sunjuwan Army camp in Jammu earlier in the day were “100 % from Pakistan.”
Mr. Vaid said the attack coincides with the death anniversary of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Guru was hanged to death in Delhi’s Tihar Central Jail on February 9, 2013. Security agencies had sounded a high alert last week for February 9 and February 11, the day Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front founder Maqbool Bhat was hanged in Tihar jail in 1984.
Rajnath in loop
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Centre was closely monitoring the situation. Mr. Singh said he spoke to the J&K DGP regarding the terrorist attack on the Army camp.
“The DGP has apprised him of the situation. The MHA is closely monitoring the situation,” a tweet posted by Mr. Singh’s verified handle said.
Later, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function in Ahmedabad, Mr. Singh said, “You should be rest assured that Army and security forces are giving a befitting reply to the attack. They will not let Indian down. I cannot comment anymore as the operation is still on.”
A senior Home Ministry official said the attack had tell-tale signs that the terrorists belonged to Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohmmad (JeM). In the past two years, Afzal Guru has emerged as the common link in at least three attacks on police and Army camps along the Jammu-Pathankot highway. The att ack on a CRPF camp in South Kashmir’s Pulwama on December 31 was also carried out by JeM, the official said.
Investigators had found a message, written in Urdu, on piece of paper on the body of one of the four terrorists who was killed at Pathankot airbase in 2016. The message allegedly said the attacks were a revenge for Afzal Guru’s hanging.
Similar papers were found on the bodies of intruders who were gunned down during an attack on a police post at Rajbagh police station in Kathua in Jammu on March 20, 2015 and the attack on an Army camp in nearby Samba on March 21, 2015. All the cites of the attacks are located within 15-20 kms of the Pakistan border and along National Highway 1A.
An official said it was premature to say whether the terrorists infiltrated from the Line of Control (LoC) or International Border (IB). The 740 km LoC is under the operational control of the Army and 192 km International Boundary (IB) along Jammu is manned by the Border Security Force (BSF).
On February 7, the Home Ministry informed the Rajya Sabha that there were 406 infiltration bids reported in J&K in 2017 and 59 infiltrators were shot dead. In 2015 and 2016 the cases of Infiltration stood at 121 and 371 respectively.
The BSF said it has been on maximum alert due to the ongoing cross-border firing and shelling from Pakistan’s side. “There has been no breach of fence on the IB. The forces are on maximum alert. The cross-border firing has stopped since January 22 but sporadic shelling is taking place. It is premature to say where the terrorists came from,” said a senior BSF official.