SRINAGAR:In an audacious attack after a decade long silence in Udhampur militants ambushed a BSF convoy killing two paramilitary forces personnel and injuring 11 others near Narsu Nallah, 15 Km from Northern Command headquarters of the Indian Army. The retaliatory action resulted in the death of a militant while another teenager militant was captured alive after making three civilians hostage for more than four hours.
Police sources informed that a BSF convoy was on its way to Jammu from Srinagar when militants armed with AK assault rifles, attacked the convoy from front as well as back and, according to eyewitnesses, two militants carried out the attack that left two BSF jawans dead and 11 others injured. The condition of three jawans was stated to be critical.
Police said that before opening fire on the BSF bus (07D174554X), the militants hurled grenades over it. The driver of the BSF bus lost control as one of the tyre burst and he was unable to move ahead. This gave sufficient time to militants and they showered countless bul-lets over it, resulting in the injuries of on board BSF men, said a police official adding that militants were dressed up in Army uniforms. He said that BSF person-nel while retaliating to the attack killed one militant on spot while another militant fled towards forest.
Deputy Commissioner of Udhampur Dr Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary said that the fleeing militant took three civi-lians hostage and escaped while using them as human shield. However, forces later traced him and after holding him in a tight cordon captured him alive. He identified the three civilian hostages who were all rescued as Subhash Sharma, Jevan Sharma and Des Raj, all locals of Udhampur.
Chowdhary added that the routine caravan of Amar-nath pilgrimage had passed smoothly from the same spot some 15 minutes before the attack. “No pilgrims have been hurt as their caravan had passed on towards Kashmir. IG Jammu, Danish Rana said that two BSF ja-wans and a militant were killed. Army and police rushed to the spot and combing operation was launched to en-sure that area remains militant free, he said.
A BSF official identified the injured personnel as Con-stable KP Singh, Head Constable Mohan Lal, Constable DB Mandal, Constable Rajeev, Constable Om Prakash Gautam, Constable Mahesh Chauhan, Constable Ra-kesh Sharma, HC Lalit Mohan, Constable DP Gupta, HC Daljit Singh and Constable Rajesh Bhai.
Meanwhile, sources said that the Union Home Ministry had issued an advisory to Jammu and Kashmir Police, warning them of a likely attack. The advisory had said that the patch between Banihal and Jammu is vulnera-ble. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the attack on a BSF convoy n Udhampur is a worrying development as the area had remained free from militancy for a long time. An attack on this stretch of the NH (National Highway) after a very long time. Wor-rying development because area was militant free, Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
The security was beefed up across Jammu-Srinagar Highway in view of the attack as intelligence inputs sug-gested that the militants may try to carry out more such attacks during the VVIP visit.
According to CNS soon after the attack, unmanned aerial vehicles were pressed into service to carry out technical surveillance of highway and adjoining forests in Udhampur amid inputs that armed militants may have formed their base at some places in Udhampur forests.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.