Unprecedented in the last 25 years of Kashmir’s insurgency — eight Army personnel have died for the first time in a single strike — the audacious militant attack at Hyderpora is under the investigation of the police and security forces, separately. The Budgam district police have begun an exercise to track down the militants involved in the attack even as the defence authorities started their own inquiry.

According to well-placed sources, both are seeking technological and infrastructural support from agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau and the Military Intelligence. Investigators believe that call records of some mobile phones, besides the voice and text data handled by certain towers from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 24 could lead them to the identification of the militants and their handlers involved.

As of now, it has been clear, with eyewitness accounts and an amateur video footage, that at least five militant operative using a motorcycle and a Santro car, carried out the operation on the eve of the Prime Minister’s arrival in Srinagar. Two of the group exposed themselves fully as they came onto the highway and struck on the two Army vehicles in a “fidayeen-type” action. One of the drivers has been shot dead after opening his window. Another militant threw a hand grenade into the vehicle that killed seven more soldiers and left about a dozen injured.

Even after the strike, the militants escaped openly brandishing at least one AK-56 rifle. Yards away from Police Station Saddar, they fired upon a Sub Inspector of Central Reserve Police Force on Srinagar-Airport Road that remains teemed with Police and CRPF for the protection of the VIP cavalcades besides the continual rush of the Police and armed forces’ vehicles. He sustained injuries. Thereafter, the militants abandoned their two-wheeler and vanished in a Santro. Police seized the bike. Two youths, questioned by the Police, revealed that the militants had “forcibly” snatched away the two-wheeler from them.