September 2017 News

3 Fresh Recruits From Banihal Behind SSB Camp Terror Attack

21 September 2017
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: In a disturbing trend, three fresh recruits, all local youths of Banihal in Ramban district of Jammu region, had carried out yesterday's attack on Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) camp at Thathar on Jammu-Srinagar National highway in which one of the SSB jawans was martyred and another seriously injured. All three fresh recruits had used pistols in targeting the SSB personnel from close range and then decamped with their Insas and AR-41 weapons. Police have identified fresh recruits in the militancy, who were responsible for attack on the SSB camp, as Aquib Ahmad son of Abdul Waheed Najar R-o Kaskoot, Banihal, Mohammad Arif son of Ghulam Hassan R-o Ashar, Banihal and Gazanfar son of Mohammad Iqbal Khan R-o Banihal. All of them were students of a 'Madarsa'. Two mobile phones used by them have been recovered from the site of attack. Click here to watch video 'Prior to yesterday's terror attack, their names didn't figure in any other militant activity,' sources said, adding that the trio were absconding after attack on the SSB camp. When approached for comments, SSP Ramban Mohan Lal confirmed involvement of three Banihal youths in the terror attack and said police parties have launched massive hunt to arrest them as they had also snatched two deadly weapons including Insas and AR-41 from the SSB jawans after firing upon them outside their camp last evening. The militants had, however, used pistols in targeting the SSB jawans outside their camp in which Head Constable Ram Pravesh was martyred while Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Shyam Sood was seriously injured. 'It appeared that the militants conducted recce of the SSB camp, located at Thathar, about 10 kilometers from Banihal and 200 meters inside Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, before carrying out the attack. They came close to the SSB jawans when they were standing outside their camp, fired bullet on them from close range and escaped with their weapons,' sources said. Police said they were trying to ascertain outfit of the militants. 'It was not clear immediately as to whether the militants have affiliated themselves with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) or Hizbul Mujahideen outfit as none of them has claimed responsibility for the terror attack so far,' sources said, adding that efforts were on to trace the militants and apprehend them to get more clues. Police teams today conducted searches at various places but the militants remained untraced. They appeared to have escaped deep into the surrounding forests to evade arrest,' sources said. This was after a long time that a militant attack has been reported in Banihal as Ramban district had virtually negligible presence of the militants for the past quite some time now. Police said the youths appeared to have been motivated by the militants in adjoining South Kashmir to join the militant ranks and carry out the terror attack. Not ruling out the involvement of South Kashmir militants in adjoining Anantnag and Kulgam districts, which border Ramban district of Jammu, in luring youth into militancy, giving them weapons and asking them to carry out terror attack on the SSB camp, sources said: 'all these issues were under investigations to make a breakthrough into the terror attack'. Meanwhile, Additional Director General of SSB Surjeet Singh Deswal today visited Ramban and paid tribute to martyr Head Constable after which his body was sent to his native town in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh with full honours. He is survived by his parents, wife and two sons. He has joined the SSB in January 2016. 'He will be remembered by his colleagues as a true patriot,' the SSB said. IG Operations Alok Kumar, DIG Rajinder Singh, Commandant Ajay Kumar, Commandant Sanjeev Yadav, SSP Ramban Mohan Lal, Additional DC Gurvinderjit Singh, ACR Vivek Puri and other officials also paid tribute to the martyr.