September 2016 News

3-day Long Operation Ends; All 4 Militants Dead, Bodies Recovered

13 September 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Three-day long joint operation by Army, Police and CRPF with the militants at Alla Pir Mohalla in the heart of Poonch town concluded this evening with two more bodies of militants, who were believed to be Pakistanis, recovered from under-construction Mini-Secretariat building, which has been sanitized. 'The operation was over at 5 pm today after Para Commandos, Poonch Police officers and jawans, Special Operations Group (SOG) and CRPF personnel launched the final assault around 3 pm inside Mini-Secretariat building by blasting boundary walls and entering third floor of the building with stairs,' official sources told the Excelsior. They said the Para Commandos and other security personnel sanitized the building from top and finally reached ground floor at 5 pm and recovered dead bodies of both the militants, who had been killed in the operation. Later, Army and Police personnel sanitized entire building using Dog Squads and declared the operation as over. 'The building was declared safe tonight after Dog Squads were used to sanitize all three floors,' sources said. SSP Poonch Jatinder Singh Johar said there were total four militants involved in the terror attack at Mini-Secretariat and adjacent Mir Manzil on Sunday morning and all of them have been killed during three-day long operation, which was finished this evening with the recovery of all four bodies of the militants. Huge quantity of arms, ammunition and explosive material have been recovered from the possession of slain militants including four AK-47 rifles, 15 magazines, mobile telephones, maps, grenades, explosive material and some other items. Militants had used number of grenades targeting the security personnel. Johar said there was perfect coordination among Poonch Police, SOG, Army, CRPF and other security and Intelligence agencies, which executed the operation for three days and ensured that there was no further casualties of security forces or civilians after police head constable Rajinder Prasad was killed in the first shot fired by the militants in the wee hours of Sunday morning. He added that evacuation of the couple Haji Nazir Hussain Mir and his wife was also executed very tactfully to save their lives on Day One of the operation. 'All four militants were believed to be Pakistanis and they have been identified by their code names as Saifullah, Umar, Tallah and Masood,' sources said, adding they were battle hardened militants of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit. Though, according to sources, everything was part of the investigations, it was visible that the militants were part of fresh infiltrated group from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and had some very specified targets like vital installation of Army and police but their 'mission' was thwarted with timely action by the security agencies, who confined them to 'Mir Manzil' and its surrounding under-construction Mini Secretariat building after the first shots were fired and didn't allow them to come out. 'Had the militants succeeded in coming out of the two buildings, there could have been catastrophe as several sensitive security installations were just few meters away,' sources asserted. The four militants had split themselves into two groups. While two of them had entered Mini-Secretariat building, two others took shelter in 'Mir Manzil'. All four have now been killed. Sources said since all four militants seemed to be freshly infiltrated and visible Pakistanis, Army and police were trying to ascertain how they managed to reach Poonch town after infiltration from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) along the Line of Control (LoC). However, everything was part of the investigations and there could be some other angles attached to it as the militants might have taken some other routes to reach Poonch. Bodies of the slain militants have been kept in mortuary of the District Hospital for identification and would be buried after completion of legal formalities. While four militants and a police head constable were killed in the three-day long operation, the longest in the history of Jammu as fidayeen attacked were generally finished the same day or the second day, seven others were injured-three each Army and Police personnel and a civilian. Sources said the operation ran into third day as security forces acted cautiously to avert civilian casualties including the old couple, which had confined themselves to bathroom of the 'Mir Manzil' before being rescued on Sunday evening. Moreover, there were no further casualties of Army and police (after the killing of head constable Rajinder Prasad). GOC 25 Division Maj Gen Dwivedi, Brigadier AS Pandarkar, the Brigade Commander of 93 Brigade, DIG Rajouri-Poonch range Johnny Williams, SSP Poonch Jatinder Singh Johar, DySPs-Mohan Lal, Sagra Singh Slathia and Reyaz Tantray and SHO Jatinder Raina among others supervised and joined the operation.