3 ultras killed, jawan martyred, hostage drama ends in Ramban
Three pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) terrorists who had attempted to hijack a transport vehicle on NH-244 near Batote early on Saturday were eliminated by the joint team of security forces during nine-hour-long operation in Ramban district.
One civilian who was held hostage by the terrorists inside his house in Batote town was safely rescued by the security forces while one Army jawan sacrificed his life and two other policemen received injuries.
Police claimed one of the three terrorists, identified as Osama, was behind killing of BJP leader Anil Parihar in Kishtwar on November 1, 2018.
During the operation, traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and the Batote-Doda highway remained disrupted causing inconvenience to hundreds of commuters.
Batote town too remained shut as cordon and search operations were launched by the security forces early on Saturday morning to track down the footprints of heavily armed terrorists in the area.
For past several days, intelligence agencies were issuing warnings about the possibility of terror strikes on vital defence installations across Jammu & Kashmir.
Even airbases across north India, including Jammu, Pathankot and Awantipora, were put on high alert following these reports that at least 60 terrorists had infiltrated into the State to carry out daring strikes.
Meanwhile in Kashmir Valley, a terrorist was killed in a separate operation in Ganderbal while unidentified terrorists lobbed a grenade on CRPF personnel in Safakadal area of Srinagar. No injury or loss of life was reported.
After the operation was called off, Inspector General of police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh told reporters in Batote, “All three terrorists, who were cadre of Hizbul Mujahideen, were eliminated by the security forces during the operation”.
Singh said one of the Army jawans also lost his life while two other policemen received injuries. Mukesh Singh said, “65-year-old civilian, who was held hostage was also safely rescued by the security forces”.
Early in the morning, high alert was sounded soon after driver of a transport vehicle informed a patrol party of Territorial Army about the presence of heavily armed terrorists along Batote-Doda highway.
As Quick Reaction Teams of the Army and security forces rushed towards the area they were targeted by the terrorists hiding in the area near Chakwa nullah, 9 kms from Batote town on Batote-Doda highway.
Defence spokesman in Jammu, Lt Col Devender Anand in his first statement claimed, “On Saturday morning, at about 7.30 am, two to three suspicious men tried to stop a civil vehicle in Batote on NH 244. The driver of the vehicle was alert. He did not stop the vehicle and informed the nearest Army check-post. A quick reaction team reacted promptly and chased the men. Exchange of fire took place between the security forces and the terrorists.”
According to official sources, “the terrorists hurled a grenade on the troops and escaped. Security forces carried out search operations and cornered the terrorists in Batote’s Main Market. In the ensuing encounter, TV crew members also came on the radar of terrorists as they opened indiscriminate firing while attempting to breach the tight cordon. The security forces used tear smoke shells to choke the hiding terrorists inside the house of a local BJP leader.
Sunday, 29 September 2019 | Mohit Kandhari | Jammu
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