The Army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police came close to a clash when Deputy Superintendent of Police Sajjad Khaliq and Station House Officer Inspector Gazanfar Hussain intercepted a convoy of Territorial Army at Heeri, 6 km from Kupwara, headquarters of North Kashmir district, on Kupwara-Chowkibal Road late Tuesday night.

Informed sources in Kupwara told The Hindu that the Kupwara District Police laid an ambush at Heeri around 11 p.m. on Tuesday after learning through its sources that the jawans of TA 160th battalion had illegally felled some green conifer trees, most likely Deodar and sawn it into logs in a dense forest cover.

According to the tip-off, one of the TA units has been planning to smuggle about 300 cubic feet of timber from Zirhama to the battalion headquarters of Heeri.

At 11.00 p.m. the police party intercepted the TA convoy and forced it to halt. Two feeder trucks, bearing numbers 07C0812484 and 08C0832124 were seized after these were found with smuggled timber. Sources said that the Army unit resisted with shouting and warning but did not open fire as the police party put up a barrier with two bulletproof Rakhshak vehicles. Commanding Officer of the battalion personally came to the spot after a while but he failed to get the seized trucks released.

The face-off was on as police were insisting to tow the seized vehicles with the timber to Kupwara and file a case under different provisions of the J&K Forest Act.