Ahead Of PM's Visit, Army Foils Major Terror Plot

3 July 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden visit to Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow, the militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit made a major infiltration attempt from the Line of Control (LoC) along Roshni Nullah in Balnoi area of Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch district last night. Army foiled the infiltration attempt and designs of the militants to carry out terror attack ahead of the Prime Minister's visit to the State. Official sources told the Excelsior that a group of six militants equipped heavily with arms, ammunition and explosives tried to infiltrate inside the Indian territory from Roshni Nullah in Balnoi area of Krishna Ghati sector at 11.30 pm last night. The militants fanned out in three groups and started indiscriminate firing using heavy weapons targeting forward posts of the Indian Army in a determined bid to intrude into this side. Sources said the troops, who were maintaining high alert after four successive infiltration attempts by the militants in a week ahead of the Prime Minister's first visit to Jammu and Kashmir, retaliated effectively. Heavy exchange of firing between the Army and the militants continued almost throughout the last night with latter making all out efforts to infiltrate. Troops, however, succeeded in thwarting infiltration attempt by the militants, who were reported to have retreated to their launching pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). 'There were no casualties or damage on the Indian side in firing by the militants but casualties, if any, of the militants were not known as no bodies were found on this side of the LoC during intensive searches conducted by the troops during the day today,' sources said, adding the militants appeared to have returned to PoK after effective retaliation by the Indian troops. Army spokesman Col Manish Mehta said: 'an attempted infiltration bid by a group of terrorists in Krishna Ghati sector was foiled by alert troops in the early hours of this morning. Exchange of firing between troops and terrorists continued for quite sometimes but there were no casualties on our side'. Sources said troops have averted a major terror plot by the militants by thwarting infiltration attempt by six heavily armed militants on the eve of Modi's first visit to the State. 'It seems the militants had planned to carry out terror strikes on this side after the infiltration,' they added. It may be mentioned here that on the eve of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's visit to Kashmir, the militants had ambushed and killed eight Army jawans in Srinagar. Meanwhile, Railways Minister Sadanand Gowda, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh and top brass of Railways reached Katra this evening to supervise arrangements for the visit of Modi in holy town of Katra, the base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi ji shrine, tomorrow to flag off train from Katra linking the town by rail with rest of the country. Gowda, Sinha and Singh visited Katra Railway Station, where the Prime Minister would flag off a DMU between 25 kilometers railway line from Katra to Udhampur after which DMU and other trains would start moving up to Katra in the next few days. Gowda also reviewed arrangements for the flagging off ceremony with the Railway officers. Modi is scheduled to flag off train from Katra at around 10 am after reaching Jammu at 9 am. From Katra, he would return to Jammu and fly to Srinagar, where he would visit Badami Bagh Cantonment, the headquarters of 15 Corps for security review and address 'Sainik Sammelan. He would have lunch at Raj Bhawan and then fly to Uri, Baramulla for inauguration of Uri-II hydro-electric project after which he would return to Srinagar and fly to New Delhi in the evening. Modi will flag off the DMU which will carry only school students. The train connectivity to Katra is part of the ambitious Kashmir rail link project marking region's rail connectivity with the rest of the country. It has been executed at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 1,150 crore. The new link with seven tunnels, 29 minor and nine major bridges is expected to ease the pilgrim rush in Jammu city and help the devotees to directly go to Katra. Ahead of the visit, a tight security cover was in place in the town with policemen keeping a vigil at all entry and exit points. The SPG has also take control of Katra Railway Station. Hotels and lodges were being checked while security personnel combed all nearby hills and took positions at vantage points in Katra town. As reported, chopper service for Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims will remain suspended tomorrow till the VVIPs depart. At present there are 27 trains which touch Jammu and Udhampur railway stations. An estimated 85 per cent of pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi shrine use the railway facility. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah held a high level meeting of security agencies here this afternoon to review security situation and arrangements for first visit of the Prime Minister to Jammu and Kashmir. Among others, DGP K Rajendra Kumar also attended the meeting and brief Omar about security arrangements made for the visit. The DGP also visited Katra and reviewed the security arrangements there. DIG Udhampur-Reasi range Gareeb Dass said all security arrangements have been made for the visit of the Prime Minister tomorrow. 'Area domination patrols, track vigil and night patrolling were in place,' he said.