Security forces on Thursday killed two hardcore Pakistani terrorists in a fierce gunfight in the Kalakote forest area of Jammu’s Rajouri district.
Following demand for revival of the Village Defence Committee (VDC) in Dangri village of Rajouri after the recent killing of six persons by terrorists, the Administration on Thursday initiated the process to arm retired soldiers of Army, BSF and CRPF in the area to enable them to act as the first line of defence for residents of the village.
It is learnt that more than 200 retired Army men and para-military forces have submitted forms for being enrolled in the VDC. Their papers were being examined and a couple of them might be issued automatic weapons.
On the other hand, police personnel tested weapons of VDC members of the area. They were also supplied with fresh ammunition. Policemen cleaned the guns that have not been used for years as the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch were declared free of terrorism after the local terrorists were eliminated or arrested.
At least 70 guns have been issued to VDC members and they were being trained to use these after Lt Governor Manoj Sinha during his visit to the village assured the residents that the VDC would be revived.
The two terrorists, who barged into three houses and shot inmates after checking their Aadhar cards, escaped only after a VDC member fired some shots from his gun. Otherwise, the terrorists would have indulged in the massacre of more innocent people.
A company of CRPF troops reached the village this morning and took up positions in the area. The Home Ministry has ordered the movement of 18 companies here. What is worrying is that the two terrorists have vanished after striking in Dangri village as a result of which the Army and security forces in the area have been put on high alert.
There were apprehensions that the two might have been hybrid terrorists who have mingled with the local population of the district after indulging in targeted killings. Security forces last night launched a search operation after three motorcycle-borne persons jumped a police checkpoint and escaped to a forest area in Rajouri district.
ADGP Jammu, Mukesh Singh, however, ruled out a terror angle in the case. “We are searching. There were no weapons or bags with them,” he added.
Top brass of the Army, police and paramilitary forces have ordered its units to step up vigil in their respective areas because of the terror threat in view of the coming Republic Day. J&K DGP Dilbag Singh and GOC of Army’s 16 Corps Lt General Sandeep Jain reviewed the situation in the border areas of Jammu division.
Amit Gupta, Senior Superintendent of Police, Reasi district, that is an infiltration route of terrorists from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK), reviewed the security situation in a meeting of the Subsidiary Multi-Agency Centre (SMAC).
Besides officers of Police, the meeting was attended by the CO IR 1st BN, representatives from 14 Sector Romeo Force of Army, Lt Colonel from 16 Corps Intelligence, 2 I/C 126 BN CRPF, 2 I/C 6 BN CRPF IB, CID Counter Intelligence and District Special Bureau.
Threadbare discussion was held on present security scenario in view of recent terror attack in Rajouri and its spill-over effect in Reasi, undercurrents, movement and presence of terrorists, present dynamics and revival of terrorism, surveillance over terror OGWs, surrendered terrorists, missing youths and their presence in POK and keep check on radicalization of youth in society.
The SSP stressed upon timely sharing of actionable information among the entire sister agencies operating in the district for surveillance on all anti-national and anti- social elements.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Kishtwar district, Shafqat Hussain Batt also reviewed the security situation in a meeting with officers of police, CID, Intelligence Bureau and other agencies.
Security of protected persons was also reviewed. He ordered surprise cordon and search operations (CASOs) in crowded places and reviewed the security deployments.