One CISF Personnel, 2 Jaish Attackers Killed in Jammu Ahead of PM Modi's Visit
Srinagar: Two militants believed to be Fidayeens and a paramilitary personnel were killed while several others were injured in a gunfight that broke out in the Sunjuwan area of the Jammu region early Friday.
The security officer killed in the attack was identified as Central Industrial Security Force's (CISF) ASI SP Patel, who succumbed to the injuries he received during the encounter.
Officials believed that the killing of the two militants, who were found wearing suicide vests, may have averted a major attack in the region which was put on a high-security alert in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit two days later.
The CISF said they averted a major strike at about 4:25 am through retaliation after a group of CISF personnel came under attack. "CISF personnel were attacked by terrorists while going for ongoing cordon and search operation Jammu. Personnel retaliated gallantly and forced them to retreat," an official spokesperson tweeted.
The operation was launched last night after Jammu and Kashmir police received information about the presence of militants in which CISF, CRPF and Army units were also involved. Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said that the operation continued throughout the night.
"They tried to break the forces' cordon, during which heavy firing was reported, and some of the police and paramilitary personnel were injured. One of the those injured, SP Patil succumbed to his injuries," Singh told reporters.
"Unfortunately, this attack comes two days ahead of the Hon. PM's visit. It appears there is a conspiracy to disturb the region's peace and sabotage the visit," Singh added.
The officials later recovered three weapons, including Aks, grenades, satellite phones and other documents – which the security officials are further investigating. Singh claimed that the two attackers belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit and may have recently infiltrated from across the border.
“I salute India’s brave son and CISF's ASI SP Patel, who made the supreme sacrifice while fighting terrorists at Sunjwan, Jammu. His gallant deeds will never be forgotten. We stand in solidarity with his bereaved family. Prayers for the speedy recovery of injured,” Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha tweeted.
The incident occurred close to Sunjuwan military camp, which had come under a high profile attack from JeM in 2018. Six soldiers, three attackers, and a civilian were also killed in a similar pre-dawn ambush.
Even as most militancy-related attacks have occurred in the Kashmir division, there is a mounting apprehension amongst the security officials that the militants are increasing their footprints outside the valley, including Jammu. "These subversive activities have increased across the Pir Panjal range after years of lull," a security official said.
The incident comes amidst heightened security vigil in the union territory as PM Modi is holding a public rally in Samba on April 24. The PM had earlier visited the Nowshera sector along the border in November last year to celebrate Diwali with Jawans. Sunday’s visit, however, is seen as his first public appearance in the region since the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A on August 5, 2019.
According to officials, the fresh incursion comes at a time when infiltration has decreased significantly for over a year as a ceasefire between India and Pakistan is holding since it was reagreed upon in March last year. Friday's attack, however, casts a shadow on the agreement, with some in the security believing that the Sunjuwan incident may be the first attack towards renewed hostilities.
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