The attack on the CISF bus at Sunjwan in Jammu and the subsequent encounter in which both the fidayeen terrorists were killed has telling ramifications. The terrorists, believed to be affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba, were equipped with heavy weaponry including three AK-47 assault rifles and other explosives.
Even after the active encounter was over, security forces continued the operation because explosives and hand grenades still on the encounter site. According to eye-witnesses, intermittent blasts of explosives continued at the encounter site for hours, keeping the security forces on their toes.
Police have said that the terrorists seem to have been Pakistani nationals who had crossed over from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK). Significantly, the attack took place just two days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
Since the announcement of the Prime Minister’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir in March end, security and intelligence agencies sounded an alert and were working day and night to avoid any untoward incident. The precedence has been that terrorists attempt to strike big at the time of high-profile visits to J&K.
Repeatedly over the last 30 years, on such occasions terrorists have opted for either suicide attacks or strikes on soft targets like political activists or members of minority communities. Not surprisingly, the security and intelligence agencies were more focused on Kashmir valley. It was not expected that terrorists would strike in Jammu to send across a message.
According to ADGP Jammu Mr Mukesh Kumar, Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were planning a Fidayeen attack on the military installation at Sunjwan. This is the second terror attack on the Sunjwan army barracks. The first such attack happened at the Sunjwan army camp on February 10, 2018.
Over the last two years, infiltration attempts have taken place mostly in Samba and RS Pora sectors in Jammu region. In 2021, more than 20 terrorists infiltrated from these sectors. Almost 15 to 16 of them reached Kashmir valley with heavy weapons. According to a senior police officer, at one time a group of eight Pakistani terrorists reached Srinagar as a group.
The police officer told KASHMIR CENTRAL that on reaching Srinagar, the group split into two sub-groups. Four of them moved towards Khrew area in the outskirts of Srinagar. Another sub-group went towards Baramulla and Bandipora.
Terrorists have the prime advantage of mounting a surprise attack. Taking into account the frequent infiltration bids by terrorists from Samba and RS Pora sectors, security and intelligence agencies need to be more vigilant. Luck was on the side of the police and security forces that the terrorists attacked the CISF bus prematurely, which subsequently culminated into an encounter. Both terrorists got killed and a major tragedy was averted.
KASHMIR CENTRAL has reported earlier that the summer of 2022 may be hot in Kashmir, given Pakistan’s plan to deepen terror in Kashmir. The security forces and intelligence agencies need to evolve a pre-emptive mechanism and strengthen human and technical surveillance to minimize losses.