J&K terror attack: Investigation reveals Pakistan’s hand

So far, 30 people have been arrested in connection with a terror attack on an army vehicle in Poonch district

SRINAGAR | Updated: 26 April, 2023 7:56 pm IST
Five people are charred to death as the vehicle caught fire following the attack  (File Photo)

A week after a terror attack claimed the lives of five soldiers and left one critically injured, 30 people have been arrested so far in the ongoing investigations.

The ongoing investigations have also revealed the direct involvement of a Pakistani handler in the attack. The terrorists in J&K’s Poonch got logistical support from the locals, as investigations further revealed.

A police official, on condition of anonymity, said that at least 30 locals from the Rajouri-Poonch belt have been arrested. During questioning, some of them revealed that the terrorists had been staying in the Rajouri-Poonch belt for over 3 months after they infiltrated this area from across the border.

“Before the attack, the terrorists stayed in the house of a local Gujjar, who is currently in police custody,” J&K police said.

Police also said that some locals, including a local handler, were in touch with the terrorists and they had been exchanging voice notes on their cell phones.

“During the investigation, it has become clear that locals provided logistics to these terrorists and that the attack was planned from Pakistan,” police sources said.

They also added that the terrorists got instructions from a local handler, who in turn got instructions from a Pakistani-based handler.

An army vehicle had come under attack in the Bhatadhurian village of Poonch district last week. The army vehicle had caught fire after the attack, in which five soldiers were charred to death and one was shifted to a hospital in a critically injured condition.

After the attack, a multi-agency operation was launched. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) also became part of the operation.

The hunt for the terrorists is still on in the region, where the army and police have launched massive search operations. Apart from choppers and drones, special operations groups and sniffer dogs are carrying out major searches in the area.

It is pertinent to mention that four out of five soldiers who were killed in the attack were natives of Punjab and one from Odisha. They were identified as Harkrishan Singh, Kulwant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sewak Singh, and Debashesh Baswal.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Police chief SP Vaid said that the Poonch attack has punctured the narrative of Pakistan that non-state actors are carrying out attacks independently. He said it is clear that somebody from the Pakistan establishment is helping these terrorists.

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