LeT Comdr Involved In Beheading 2 Army Jawans Killed; 3 Retreat

13 July 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Troops today eliminated Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) divisional commander and member of the outfit's Border Action Team (BAT), who had beheaded two Army soldiers at Mankot sector in Poonch district on January 8, 2013, when he along with a group of three associates was trying to infiltrate into the Indian territory for fidayeen attack in wee hours of this morning during adverse weather conditions. Official sources told the Excelsior that the infiltrators had planned BAT action in the same Mankot sector as they were well versed with the area but this time they found the troops on very high alert along the Line of Control (LoC) despite heavy rains in the area at about 3.30 am today. Troops took on the militants and eliminated one of them while three others retreated to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). One of the fleeing militants left behind his bags carrying large quantity of Pakistan made eatables. Documents recovered from the slain militant established his identity as Mohammad Anwar alias Azhar, a divisional commander of the LeT and a Pakistani national, who was trained by Pakistan army in the BAT actions. Azhar along with Pakistan army commandos had beheaded two Army soldiers Sepoy Hem Raj and Lance Naik Saudagar after intruding deep inside the LoC in Mankot sector of Poonch district on January 8, 2013. The BAT members and Pakistan army personnel had escaped to PoK. Sources said a group of four militants, all Pakistanis, tried to infiltrate into the Indian territory in combat dresses at 3.30 am during heavy rains crossing Panjal Nullah close to forward village of Sagra Balnoi in Mankot sector of Poonch district with a view to commit fidayeen action and infiltrate into the Indian territory. Alert troops intercepted the militants and opened firing, leading to heavy exchange of firing that continued for one and half hour in which the militants, who was leading the group, was eliminated while three others escaped back to PoK. 'There were no casualties of the Army,' sources said adding that troops conducted searches along the LoC in Mankot sector throughout the day today to ensure that the militants hadn't managed to infiltrate into the Indian territory. The search operation was called off this evening and it was established that three remaining militants had returned to PoK. Body of slain militant along with two bags was recovered from the spot. One of the bags belonged to slain militant while another bag was left behind by the fleeing militants, which has also been seized by the troops. Top Army officials including GOC 25 Infantry Division Maj Gen DA Chaturvedi, Brigadier Anubhav Bhagi and Commanding Officer Col Amit Basit visited the spot and boosted morale of the troops for eliminating the Lashkar divisional commander despite adverse weather conditions on the LoC when it was raining heavily in the entire LoC. Sources said the militants also wanted to take advantage of bad weather condition to infiltrate into the Indian territory but troops thwarted their plot. Sources said slain militant was identified from the recovery of documents including identity card and credit cards from the bags. In addition to one AK-47 rifle, two magazines, 39 rounds, two anti-personnel mines, Rs 10,000 Indian currency and Rs 6885 Pakistani currency, the militants were also carrying Pakistan made two mobile telephones-one of them with Pakistani SIM card and Pak made food items including 11 packets of biscuits, three packets of milk, five packets of ORS, water bottles, half kg almonds and other dry fruits, rain coats etc. All four militants were wearing combat dresses, which indicated that they planned to carry out fidayeen action after infiltration into this side. Only few days back, Army had foiled infiltration attempt by four militants in Pallanwalla sector of Akhnoor tehsil. Sources said the militants were desperate to infiltrate and carry out fidayeen attacks.