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2 Jaish-e-Muhammad ‘fidayeen’ militants killed in Jammu ahead of PM Modi’s visit 

Army jawans head towards an encounter site at Malwah village, north of Srinagar on April 22, 2022. | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

Two unidentified Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants, apparently on a 'fidayeen' attack mission, were killed in Jammu on Friday, just two days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first public address in J&K since reading down of Article 370 in 2019.

One Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officer was killed and four security personnel, including two CISF jawans and two policemen, were also injured in the gunfight.

The attack by the militants took place around 4:25 a.m. when around 15 CISF personnel were heading for an ongoing cordon and search operation in Jammu's Sunjwan area. The CISF jawans engaged the militants in a gunfight and "forced them to retreat" and "hide in a nearby built-up area". The area was rattled by loud explosions during the encounter, forcing closure of all nearby schools for the day. Internet services were also suspended.

The distance between Sunjwan and Samba's Palli village, where PM Modi is scheduled to address elected representatives on the National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24, is just 14 km.

"They (militants) were wearing 'fidayeen' vests. Both were tasked to either target a security camp or to engage a large number of security forces to inflict maximum casualties,``J & K Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said.

Preliminary information suggested that the militants were "non-locals and recently infiltrated into Jammu" from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The police said they were working on the inputs on the presence of militants in Jammu.

"As of now there are no inputs to suggest that the slain were planning to attack the PM’s upcoming rally at Samba on April 24," DGP Singh said.

Three AK-47 rifles, grenades, magazines, eatables, medicines, energy drinks etc. were recovered from the slain militants, the police said.

According to the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Mukesh Singh, the militants were also carrying satellite phones with them.

Meanwhile, the deceased CISF officer has been identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector S.P. Patel.

Friday's attack came at a time when security was heightened across the Union Territory in the wake of the PM's upcoming visit.

In the run up to the PM's visit, Kashmir has already witnessed a series of targeted attacks on non-local labourers, two Kashmiri Hindus and elected representatives. Several off-duty jawans were also targeted by militants in central and south Kashmir.

Fourth militant killed in Baramulla

In north Kashmir's Baramulla, one more militant was killed on Friday morning in an ongoing operation, which was launched on Thursday morning.

"One more militant was killed on Friday morning, taking the toll to four. The operation is in progress," a police spokesman said.

Five militants were believed trapped during a search operation on Thursday morning in Malwah village of north Kashmir's Baramulla district.

Among the four militants killed included wanted Lashkar-e-Taiba 'commander' Yousuf Kantroo, who was the mastermind behind targeted killings in the Valley.

Labourers shot at

Two non-local labourers were shot at and injured by militants in Srinagar on Friday evening. The attack took place around 7.50 p.m. in Srinagar’s Nowgam area. According to the police, terrorists fired upon two outside labourers and left them injured.

The police identified the migrant workers as Najamul-Islam and Anikul-Islam, both residents of West Bengal. “Both the labourers have received gunshot injuries. They were immediately shifted to hospital for treatment,” the police said. The condition of one of the injured is critical, hospital sources said.


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Printable version | Apr 25, 2022 8:24:45 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/encounter-breaks-out-in-jammus-sunjawan-area/article65344114.ece