Kathua Attack: NIA teams join investigations

Kathua Attack: NIA teams join investigations

LG Manoj Sinha says perpetrators of terror attack will be punished soon

Jammu, Jul 09: National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken up the investigation of the Kathua terror attack that left five soldiers dead and five others injured even as J&K LG Manoj Sinha said that the perpetrators of the attack will be punished soon.

As per news agency, drone surveillance, sniffer dogs, sharp-shooters and experts in mountain combing and warfare are part of the massive CASO going on in the area.

Officials said that the terrorists are believed to be a group of three who have taken cover of the thick foliage on a hill to surprise the troops who retaliated immediately, responding with gunfire and fighting back till the terrorists disappeared into the dense woods, adding, “They are part of the same group which was involved in Basangarh attack in which a village defence guard Mohd Sharief was killed in an encounter with terrorists on April 28 in Panara village,” Officials said.

The incident took place at the inter-formation boundary between Northern and Western Command. The soldiers who came under attack were among additional troops who had been deployed in the area a few weeks ago. The administrative convoy was attacked from two directions, sources said.

The officer said that search for the terrorists, which was suspended late Monday because of heavy rain, resumed on Tuesday with joint search parties of the Army, police and CRPF launched from various directions, including Kathua, Udhampur and Doda.

“Ground search teams of JKP special operation group, CRPF’s Ghatak Group and Army’s elite Para Commandos are being supported by helicopter and UAV surveillance. Sniffer dogs and metal detectors are also being employed in the operation with a focus on some dense forest areas in the belt,” the officer said.

Tributes

Though the army in Jammu and Kashmir’s not issued any statement on the incident, army Western Command in the evening shared photographs and details of slainsoldiers, as the area of operation came under Yol, Himachal Pradesh based 9 Corps.

“Nashak Navtara Corps Commander & all ranks paid homage to #bravehearts Nb Sub Anand Singh,Hav Kamal Singh, Nk Vinod Singh, Rfn Anuj Negi & Rfn Adarsh Negi for sacrificing their lives in service of the nation. We stand in solidarity with the bereaved family members,” army’s Western Command posted on X.

It added that Indian Army and Western Command salute the bravery and supreme sacrifice of five soldiers in Kathua Sector, Jammu on 08 July 24 while fighting the scourge of terrorism. Army Commander & all ranks stand in solidarity with bereaved families. Joint operation in progress.

Earlier, on July 8, five Army personnel, including a junior commissioned officer, were killed, and five others injured on the rugged Machedi-Kindli-Malhar mountainous road near Badnota village, about 150 kilometers from Kathua district headquarters. This incident marks the fifth terror attack in the region within a month.

Five jawans from Uttarakhand identified as Naib Subedar Anand Singh Rawat, resident of Rudraprayag district, Havildar Kamal Singh, resident of Pauri district, Naik Vinod Singh, resident of Tehri Garhwal district, Rifleman Anuj Negi, resident of Pauri district, Adarsh Negi, resident of Tehri Garhwal district made the supreme sacrifice in the terrorist attack.

LG Manoj Sinha

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinah has said that perpetrators of Kathua terror attack will be punished soon. He also expressed deepest condolences to bereaved families of martyrs. In his message the Lieutenant Governor said: “I salute the bravery of our army personnel, who lost their lives in a dastardly terror attack in Kathua. Deepest condolences to bereaved families of martyrs. Coordinated counter-terror operations are underway and the perpetrators of this attack will be punished soon.” Notably five soldiers, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), were killed and five others were injured when a group of terrorists ambushed two army vehicles on patrolling duty near Badnota village in Kathua district on Monday afternoon.

NIA

Meanwhile, National Investigation Agency (NIA) also arrived at the incident site where an Army convoy was ambushed yesterday. Meanwhile, security has been tightened along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway following the attack. NIA will assist the Jammu and Kashmir police in its probe of a terrorist attack. However, the agency has not yet registered an official case to investigate the terrorist attack.

Security Intensified

Day after the Kathua attack, security forces recovered 2 Mortar Shells near Ban Toll Plaza in Jammu along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. The mortar shells were noticed abandoned in a ditch by police and security forces during joint patrolling this morning. They said the experts of the bomb disposal squad were immediately rushed to the scene and both the explosive devices were safely defused around noon. Following the incident Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and Jammu and Kashmir police personnel have been deployed along the National Highway (NH44) in Udhampur.

Jammu Attacks

The Jammu region has been shaken by a series of recent ambushes and terror attacks, particularly in the border districts of Poonch, Rajouri, Doda, and Reasi.

On October 11, 2021 gun battles between terrorists and Army raged for over 10 days in Chamrer and Bhatta Durrian forests falling between Surankote and Mendhar in Poonch district signaling revival of terrorism, 43 bravehearts have sacrificed their lives in different terror attacks and encounters in the Jammu region.

While five Army soldiers lost their lives on October 11, 2021 in Chamrer forests, four others attained martyrdom at Bhatta Durrian forests on October 16, 2021. Two of them were JCOs. The terrorists remained untraced. Two more Army jawans sacrificed their lives in Nowshera sector of Rajouri on October 30, 2021.Five Army soldiers were killed while two fidayeens were eliminated in a terror attack at Pargal in Darhal area of Rajouri on August 11, 2022. Five Army soldiers were martyred at Bhatta Durrian in Mendhar area of Poonch on April 20, 2023 while exactly a fortnight later five para commandos lost their lives and a Major was injured in an IED blast triggered by the terrorists at Kandi in Rajouri district. On November 22, 2023, five Army personnel, two of them Captains, attained martyrdom while eliminating two foreign terrorists at Bajimaal in Dharamshal area of Kalakote in Rajouri while five more bravehearts were killed and two others were injured at Dera Ki Gali in Surankote area of Poonch on December 21, 2023.

A VDG jawan was killed at Basantgarh in Udhampur district on April 28, 2024, an IAF soldier lost his life on May 4, 2024 at Surankote in Poonch while a CRPF jawan sacrificed his life at Hiranagar in Kathua on June 11, 2024.

Four Army jawans were martyred at Machedi in Billawar area of Kathua district today.

The fresh spurt begins since June 9, when terrorists attacked a bus carrying pilgrims from the Shiv Khori temple in Reasi district, claiming the lives of nine persons and injuring 41 others.

Earlier in May, terrorists ambushed an Indian Air Force (IAF) convoy in Poonch district, killing a soldier and injuring several others. Kashmir Tigers, a shadow outfit of the banned Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Protest & statements

Jammu region today rocked with anti-Pakistan protests in several areas from Kathu to Poonch as agitated people took to the streets to condemn the terror attack.The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association Jammu (JKHCBAJ) a massive protest at the District Court Complex, condemning the recent spurt in terrorist attacks in UT of J&K in general and Jammu Division in particular. The protest was lodged by a large number of Bar members who stood united in expressing their solidarity with the families of the brave heart soldiers who attained martyrdom laying down their lives in service of nation.

Bajrang Dal, Locals in Jammu have taken to the streets in Jammu to protest. The demonstrators raised serious concerns over the recent terror attacks in Jammu region and urged the government to take strict action against those responsible for the attacks.

Rashtriya Bajrang Dal, Dogra Front & Shiv Sena, BJYM Poonch unit people of R S Pura, District Congress Committee Kathua along with dozen organizations condemned the terrorist attack and asked the Government to take stern action against the preparators of the attack.

Gulam Ali Khatana

Rajya Sabha MP Gulam Ali Khatana during a press briefing strongly denounced Pakistan for propelling Kathua terror attack. Terming the attack as barbaric and inhuman Gulam Ali Khatana hurled brickbat and said India will throw a tight slap to Pakistan for sponsoring terror. Pertinent to mention, five soldiers made the supreme sacrifice in the Kathua encounter.

Farooq Abdhulla

National Conference Chief Farooq Abdullah said that only way forward now is that the pressure of the world on that country must increase. This is not the path to peace. This is the path to destruction…

“Terrorism will not help anyone. If our neighbour thinks that infiltrating terrorists into our territory will bring change, they are wrong. They will fail… I am afraid that our anger will increase so much after this that we might resort to aggression and retaliation. They have already destroyed their country, and now a war will only further destroy it. They need to stop terrorism. They are being condemned all over the world for their actions… What are they gaining from this? The families of these soldiers would be mourning and demanding retaliation. If they want to move on this path then they must be ready for the consequences also… Terrorism and dialogue cannot go hand in hand. If they want good ties, they will have to walk on that path, and terrorism does not lie on that path…”

Ravinder Raina

Condemning the Kathua terror attack, J&K BJP President Ravinder Raina said “Cowardly Pakistani terrorists have carried out a cowardly attack in Jammu and Kashmir. They targeted a vehicle of the Army at night in Kathua’s Machedi area. Our brave soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice for the motherland. These terrorists will not be spared”

Bharat Sinh Solanki

Congress s has expressed shock over the loss of lives & strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Kathua district of Jammu region in which four army jawans attained martyrdom and several others injured, while terming the security situation worrisome..

JKPCC has saluted the bravehearts and expressed sympathies with their family members and colleagues.

AICC Incharge Jk Affairs Bharat Sinh Solanki has strongly condemned the cowardly attack and expressed sympathies with the families of martyrs. He prayed for peace to the departed souls.

Expressing grave concern over rise in terror attacks in Jammu province, Senior AICC leader termed the situation highly worrisome.

JKPCC President Vikar Rasool Wani and all Senior JKPCC leaders have strongly condemned the attack and expressed serious concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Jammu region too and asked the government to launch a full-scale war against terrorism to save the lives of the army, security forces, police and common people. They said such incidents are intolerable and terrorism has to be eliminated.

They conveyed heartfelt sympathies to the families of martyrs and prayed for early recovery of injured—(KNO)

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