Two LeT fidayeens shot dead in Jammu
17 March 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: City police tonight gunned down two ‘fidayeens’ (suicide squads) of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit after a fierce exchange of gun-battle at Tawian and thwarted the terrorists’ plot to strike in the City. Both the slain terrorists were Pakistanis and were carrying a large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives with them, SSP Jammu said late tonight. He said police had a specific information that two to three terrorists of Lashkar outfit could try to infiltrate into Jammu from Pakistan to carry out a major sabotage in the City to disturb peace. Accordingly, police had laid nakas all along the border villages from Akhnoor to Satwari sector. One of the police party, which was being led by SP City (North) Parbhat Singh, intercepted two terrorists at Tawian, about one kilometer from Bhagwati Nagar at 1945 hours tonight. The police party asked the terrorists to lay down their arms and surrender. Instead, police sources said, one of the terrorists opened heavy firing on the cops with an AK-47 rifle while his associate started running back to Pakistan. Cops retaliated. Sources said a heavy exchange of gun fighting took place for the next 20 minutes in which the police personnel succeeded in eliminating both the terrorists. As firing stopped from the terrorists’ side, policemen lit up the area with the search lights and recovered dead bodies of both the terrorists. From the possession of the terrorists, police recovered two AK-47 rifles, six AK magazines, four grenades, two suicide body belts filled with 2.5 kg RDX, 28 electronic detonators, one remote control device, some important documents and two fake identity cards. ''Recovery of the suicide body belts clearly indicated that the slain terrorists were fidayeens and were sneaking into the City to carry out a major subversive activity'', the sources said and didn’t rule out the possibility of the high security Civil Secretariat being one of the targets of the terrorists. The terrorists had fake identity cards of Showkat Ali, a student of SRML higher secondary school and Ghulam Hassan, an Awami League worker. However, police said, both the identity cards were fake and not genuine. Real identity of the terrorists was established from a small chit found in their possession as Azmatullah alias Abu Mavia R-o Gujranwalla and Showkat Zamar R-o Atak in Punjab province of Pakistan. Both of them were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit. Sources said the terrorists were aged 18 to 19 years and the way they fought with the cops for 20 minutes indicated that they were well trained in the handling of sophisticated weapons. A major tragedy has been averted with timely killing of the fidayeens, the sources said. The terrorists could have struck anywhere in the City to disturb peace. However, the prime target of the terrorists, at present, was the Civil Secretariat housing Legislative Assembly and Council, which were currently in session. Police authorities have recommended the names of police personnel, who fought bravely in the encounter, for out-of-turn promotions, they added.