Terrorists target yatras in J&K
Amarnath Yatra: Two police officers and six Amarnath pilgrims were among
13 persons killed and 17 injured in two explosions at Sheshnag on the track to
the holy cave shrine in the wee hours on July 21. Narrating the sequence of
events, Mr AK Bhan, IGP, Kashmir Range said the two unidentified militants had
taken refuge in the mazdoor sarai (labourer's inn) nearby. He explained, "there
was a grenade blast at
in one of the tents. The yatris were sleeping, policemen arrived at the tent
immediately and they too were fired upon killing DSP Praveen Kumar on the spot.
Within half an hour, there was another grenade attack in which more people were
injured. But most of the casualties happened in the first attack". The IGP
blamed Lashkar-e-Toiba, as there was a clear Lashkar stamp on the Kalashin-Kov,
which was recovered from the slain terrorist, disguised as a Sadhu.
Interestingly, the Al-Umar claimed responsibility for the attack.
slain terrorist a rifle, four magazines and other ammunition was recovered.
reports said that militants had come via Galole Gali that links Wardwan Valley
of Kishtwar to Sheshnag. Wardwan has the largest concentration of foreign
mercenaries. It is just a 2½ hours walk from gali to Wardwan. Immediately after
the blast, the Lashkar group is believed to have gone back to Wardwan and
resorted to killings in Doda.
killings indicate a major security lapse and lack of a proper command structure
and coordination between various security agencies. Nearly 12,000 men from J&K
Police, CRPF, BSF and Army had been deputed for conducting the yatra. State
police was responsible for the inner ring, while BSF took charge of the road.
The Army, for its part, was responsible for the "heights along the routes" that
lead to the cave. The Army had deployed its two brigades (73 Mountain Brigade
and 81 Mountain Brigade) to seal the heights. This year, a week before the start
of the yatra, four BSF men were injured in an IED blast near Chandanwari. The
blast should have come as a warning to the security forces. The CRPF has blamed
the Army for allowing militants to sneak inside Pahalgam since the outer
security ring was responsibility of the Army.
police and CRPF were fighting with each other (1-25 AM) near cave, when the
first blast occurred. This year most of the complaints of yatris were that JK
Police was engaged in extortion and creating hurdles for yatris. This was
objected to by CRPF personnel. When JKP men did not stop harassment, CRPF
personnel assaulted a JKP officer.
Kumar lay helpless with a bullet wound on his thigh. He had reached the site of
blast within 10 minutes. As he was trying to rescue the injured, another blast
took place a feet away. A security guard accompanying the DSP switched on a
torch. Taking use of this, militants opened fire, hitting the DSP and others on
their legs and thigh. Had medical aid been available on time, Parveen Kumar's
life would have been saved. Parveen Kumar, a fearless police officer never
feared death. He had received a gun shot wound in an encounter with mercenaries
at Surankote three years back when over 15 mercenaries were gunned down in the
attack was the seventh attempt to disrupt Amarnath Yatra this year.
foiled the attempt to disrupt yatra near Banihal. It was on June 22 when it
killed three Hizbul Mujahideen militants at Zanibal. The militants were hiding
inside a house and were planning to carry out major strikes. On July 11, a
fierce gun-battle between militants and security forces resulted in halting
yatra for some hours at Banihal. On July 14, a CRPF spotted a Fidayeen on
the out-skirts of Jammu city. He, as per police, was planning to attack the
yatra convoy, which was to pass through the area soon after. Despite clear
involvement of Lashkar and Hizbul Mujahideen, LeT spokesperson claimed on July 7
that pilgrims should perform yatra with out fear.
hours of the killing of 15 Hindu shepherds in the hilly Doda district,
terrorists attacked Vasuki Nag Prachin Mela in hilly Dera Baba top village of
Latti on the morning of August 5. They failed to cause any casualty or damage in
the wake of stiff resistance offered by police and VDC members.
that two thousand men, women and children had assembled at the historic temple,
18 kms from Latti. People from the district come here every year to offer sheep
and goat. At about 8 AM terrorists opened fire from a nearby hill, on the
devotees. Police and VDC members immediately took positions and engaged
militants in an encounter for one hour. Panic gripped the devotees. They had to
seek shelter in the houses during exchange of firing.
forces foiled Hizbul Mujahideen plan to attack Budha Amarnath Yatra on the
morning of August 3. Acting on a tip off, the security forces covered all
directions enroute the pilgrimage. At about 2.30 AM, the forces sighted four
militants approaching the road. On being challenged, the militants opened fire.
In the encounter two militants were gunned down, while two others escaped.