Police says 4 terrorists gunned down in chance encounter
Jammu- Security forces have been put on high alert across the Jammu region, particularly on the highway, after four heavily armed militants were gunned down on Wednesday, officials said.
The counter infiltration grid has been put on high alert and security has been tightened in the region’s border areas.
“Four terrorists, travelling in a truck to Kashmir after infiltrating from Pakistan, were killed in a chance encounter with security forces here early on Wednesday morning”, police said.
Additional Director General of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh said the encounter took place around 7.30 am amid intense fog near Tawi Bridge in the Sidhra bypass area along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
Singh, who was flanked by General Officer Commanding of Army’s Tiger division Maj Gen Gaurav Gautam, told reporters at the scene that bodies of four militants have been recovered from the truck.
“Seven AK assault rifles, one M4 rifle, three pistols and a large quantity of ammunition were recovered from the slain terrorists,” he said.
“A suspicious movement of a truck, that was moving towards Kashmir, was observed. It was followed and stopped near Sidhra check point, but its driver escaped on the pretext of attending the call of nature,” the ADGP said.
Getting suspicious, Singh said, police started searching the truck but came under heavy fire from inside.
An encounter ensued during which the truck caught fire, he said, adding the militants were killed.
The ADGP said the militants were heavily armed and were on their way to Kashmir when they were intercepted.
He said efforts are on to nab the driver of the truck, who has fled.
“The identity and group affiliation of the terrorists is awaited,” the ADGP said.
Earlier, talking to PTI, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said so far three militants have been killed. “The number could be more,” he added.
Asked whether the militants came from across the border and were picked by the truck driver to ferry them to Kashmir, he said it is matter of investigation.
Officials said the intense firing between the two sides lasted for over 45 minutes, during which several explosions apparently caused by hurling of grenades were heard.
Smoke was seen blowing from the truck, loaded with husk, and was completely damaged in the gunfight.
Meanwhile tight security arrangements have been put in place and vehicles are being checked to ensure fool-proof security in Jammu, they said.
Security checkpoints on the Jammu-Pathankot National Highway have increased vigilance and vehicles, particularly trucks, are being checked, they said.
All entry points to Jammu from the border areas have been put on vigil and vehicles entering the city are being thoroughly checked.
Truck Had Fake Number Plate: ADGP
Additional Director General of Police, Jammu Zone, Mukesh Singh told reporters that “the truck which was carrying the four heavily armed terrorists, who were killed by security forces on Wednesday morning, had a fake registration plate and tampered engine and chassis numbers”.
The truck loaded with husk was intercepted near Sidhra’s Tawi bridge checking point along Jammu-Srinagar national highway this morning, while the vehicle was on its way to Kashmir.
“The number plate of the truck has been found to be fake. The engine and chassis number has also been tampered and help of forensic teams will be sought in this regard,” the Jammu police chief said.
“The truck driver fled the scene taking advantage of foggy conditions and the gunfight. Efforts are on to nab him and also identify the truck owner,” the ADGP said.
He said a search is being conducted at bus stands, railway stations and marketplaces, while all checkpoints have also been alerted.
“Other scientific and electronic evidence is being collected to identify the terror group behind the transportation of the terrorists and to identify the Over Ground Workers (OGW) support structure of the terrorists (in Jammu region),” he said.
An FIR has also been registered in connection with the encounter, the officer said.