J&K: 3 civilians die of mysterious circumstance at Poonch

Srinagar | Updated: 23 December, 2023 2:14 pm IST
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SRINAGAR: Three civilians were found dead under suspicious circumstances near the site of an ambush in Surankote Tehsil of Poonch district in Jammu on Friday evening.

The deaths are reportedly connected with the terrorist ambush on two Indian Army vehicles at Dera Ki Gali, on Thursday.

The deceased were among nine civilians who had been called for questioning by the Indian Army, in connection to the terrorist ambush on Thursday. They have been identified as Safeer Hussain, 43, Mohammed Showket, 27, and Mohammed Shabir, 32. All of them were residents of Topi village. Presently, there is no official statement on their deaths.

Following the incident, mobile internet services were suspended in Rajouri and Poonch districts, on Saturday. Internet suspension in the twin border districts followed the mysterious deaths of the three picked up by the Army for questioning.

Official sources said that internet services had been suspended in the two districts as a precautionary measure to put a check on rumour-mongering. They added that the services were also suspended to prevent miscreants from creating any law and order issues.

Divisional Commissioner of Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, and senior officers of the Civil and Police administration reached Bufliaz following reports of their deaths.

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Consequently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday, started investigations into the terrorist ambush connection with the terrorist ambush. On the other hand, the General Officer Commanding of the Nagrota Corps, Lieutenant General Sandeep Jain, alongside DGP RR Swain and IGP Jammu Zone Anand Jain are camping at the place of the incident.

Search operations to find the terrorists are still underway.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that terrorists used US-made M4 rifles in the attack. They are reportedly associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfits.

Official sources said that many suspects have been detained for questioning in connection with the terror attack. They said that Pakistani terrorists trained in Afghanistan are likely to have carried out the terror attack with active local support.

Following the incident, GOC Sandeep visited the site to review the situation with top Army and police officials.

“Indian Army and White Knight Corps salute the bravery and supreme sacrifice of four soldiers in Surankote yesterday while fighting the scourge of terrorism”, White Knight Corps, or XVI Corps, wrote on X.

DGP Swain and IGP Anand also visited the site alongside the district’s police officials to review the situation and devise a strategy to intensify search operations against the terrorists. The primary goal remains to eliminate them, with both the senior officials camping at the site.

Presently, aerial monitoring through helicopters is also being conducted. Sniffer dogs have also been pressed into service to track them down.

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