Other States

Two held in Sunjwan case, JeM tried to scuttle PM Modi’s visit: police

J&K Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh visits the spot after an encounter with militants, at the Sunjawan area in Jammu on April 22, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Jammu and Kashmir police have arrested two locals in connection with the April 22 Sunjwan attack in Jammu, which was “carried out by two Pashto-speaking fidayeens of the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM)“ and was aimed at “scuttling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Jammu visit”.  

“The two Pashto-speaking terrorists used a mobile phone of Shafiq Ahmad Sheikh from Pulwama’s Tral to call his ‘commander’ across the border. Sheikh was instructed to identify an establishment of security forces. The attack was aimed at inflicting maximum casualties so that the VVIP visit does not happen,” Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Mukesh Singh said.

He said both the terrorists seemed to be freshly infiltrated and were picked up from Samba in a vegetable truck. “Sheikh has told the police that they [terrorists] were neither speaking Kashmiri nor Hindi nor Dogri. They spoke Pashto, which suggested they might either be from Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Afghanistan. However, a prior tip-off provided by intelligence helped the security forces to confine them and deter them from carrying out any major attack,” ADGP Singh said. 

The police said the two arrests made so far were on the basis of detailed technical analysis. One of the arrested youths, Sheikh, works at a walnut factory in Jammu. The place where Sheikh used to stay was owned by Iqbal Ahmad, originally a resident of Damhal Hanji Pora, in Jammu’s Jalalabad. He too has been arrested. 

According to the police, a medium-sized truck of Bilal Ahmad Wagay from Anantnag’s Kokernag area was used to ferry the terrorists in Jammu. 

“A few days ahead of the attack, Sheikh came from Kashmir. He was told that a few men will come and a Kashmiri person will get them. Wagay, who owned trucks, started from Pulwama [on April 21] and stayed at Transport Nagar, Jammu, before heading for Sukhwal in Samba around 12 a.m. He picked up the two terrorists and hid them in a cavity created by vegetable crates around 1.30 a.m.. They reached Sheikh’s place at Jalalabad around 2.30 a.m.,” ADGP Singh said.

The police said Sheikh’s brother Asif, at the behest of the JeM, had procured a SIM card and a mobile phone in advance. “Asif also set up a Telegram ID at the behest of JeM with the name ‘Pagal Jamaat’. The JeM ‘commander’ Telegram ID across is Veer. They were in touch with each other on Telegram,” ADGP Singh said.

The police said the  CCTV footage had corroborated the analysis of the security agencies and the movement of the vehicle in Samba and Jammu districts.

“An investigation is on. More arrests are likely in coming days,” ADGP Singh said.

One CISF officer was killed and four others were injured in the gunfight between the hiding militants and security forces on April 22 in Jammu’s Sunjwan. The attack took place just two days ahead of Mr. Modi’s first public address in Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre stripped the erstwhile State’s special constitutional position. 

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Printable version | Apr 24, 2022 10:37:08 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/two-locals-held-in-sunjwan-attack-jem-fidayeens-wanted-to-scuttle-pms-visit-police/article65349497.ece