National

Govt. says three of 10 terrorists killed

Seven others on the run; Somnath Temple in Gujarat possible target.

A top government official said on Tuesday that three of the 10 terrorists on whom Pakistan’s National Security Adviser passed information to his Indian counterpart a few days ago, have been killed in an operation “somewhere in western India.”

The official refused to give any other details, like the identity of the alleged terror operatives or the location where such an operation took place. He said they were cautious in sharing the details as they were still “cross-checking.”

The top official of the Home Ministry said: “We also have information about seven others and we are tracking them. Some of them could also belong to a third country. It is too early to share details, but the terrorists were killed three days ago.” The official said the Somnath temple in Gujarat’s coast was the target.

Pakistan NSA Naseer Khan Janjua informed Ajit Doval that 10 Pakistan-based terrorists could have infiltrated into India, possibly through the Gujarat coast in the first week of March. Following the tip-off, intelligence agencies were asked to track down the infiltrators. The Gujarat police were put on high alert and National Security Guard (NSG) commandos were rushed to secure the Somnath temple. A nationwide alert was sounded for Maha Shivratri celebrations on March 7. Three NSG teams were deployed in Ahmedabad and one at the Somnath temple.

Asked whether the terrorists were neutralised somewhere in Gujarat, Director-General of Police P.C. Thakur told The Hindu: “It’s a rumour.”

A top intelligence official said they had no such information.

Another top police officer who coordinates with the Central agencies also appeared clueless. “We have no idea of any such operation in the State.”

Top officials of the Border Security Force (BSF) and even the Intelligence Bureau (IB) did not know of any special operation in Gujarat.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 2:59:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/operation-in-western-india-govt-says-three-of-10-terrorists-killed/article8357995.ece

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