Attack stokes nation’s fears National

Gurdaspur attack : Identity of terror outfit not known

A Battle Won: Security personnel celebrate after thecompletion of the 12-hour operation.— Photo: Prashanth Nakhwe   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

Even as the government concluded on Monday that Pakistan had a hand in the terror attack in Gurdaspur, different sections of the Central government and intelligence agencies offered different theories on the identity of the group involved.

Top intelligence sources told The Hindu that preliminary findings suggest it is the handiwork of a Pakistan-based terror organisation. “The modus operandi of carrying out the attack, apart from the nature of weapons used, is very similar to the one employed by Lashkar-e-Taiba militants,” said a senior intelligence official.

GPS trackers too

Dressed in army fatigues and armed with assault rifles, the terrorists were carrying dry fruits, suggesting that they had come well prepared for a long battle with Indian security forces. They also had GPS location trackers on them.

“Preliminary findings indicate that they sneaked in through the Jammu border,” said the official.

The group — which initially targeted a tempo and then hijacked a car before storming the Dinanagar police station, — is suspected to have planted five improvised explosive devices found on the railway tracks connecting Dinanagar to Pathankot.

Though the local police are currently investigating the case to establish the identity of the three terrorists who were killed by the Punjab special operations team in a 12-hour gun battle, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) team has also been sent to survey the spot.

While security and intelligence agencies see the hand of a Pakistan-based terror group, speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior BJP Minister said the Centre had been receiving intelligence inputs that there are Khalistan supporters in Canada who are trying to regroup and create tension in Punjab.

The Minister told The Hindu that this input from the agencies had been duly shared with the Punjab Government.

The Minister also acknowledged that the Centre’s attempts to usher in peace in Jammu and Kashmir and the ground that the militants have lost in the State has not gone down well with those “interested in destabilising India”, referring to cross-border terror activities.

“The general elections and the State Assembly elections have shown that the ordinary people in Kashmir want development and they have no sympathy for the terror outfits. The desperation of those who are against peace has made them strike in other border States,” the Minister said.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 2:05:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/gurdaspur-attack-terror-outfit/article7470924.ece

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