Jammu and Kashmir Police
File Photo | ANI

JAMMU — Two militants and a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officer were killed during a fierce gun battle near Sunjwan military station in Jammu on Friday, two days ahead of the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the region.

Talking to reporters, as per news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Jammu region, Mukesh Singh said that two militants have been killed while a security officer has lost his life and four others were injured in the encounter.

He added that search and sanitization of the area are going on. “Given the nature of arms and ammunition recovered from the slain which includes satellite phones and crucial documents, it seems the slain were planning a Fidayeen strike,” Singh said.

The encounter started after security forces launched an operation near Jalalabad area of Sunjwan near the cantonment in Jammu city at around 3:30 AM.

The CISF, in a statement, said that a bus carrying 15 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel were attacked by militants near Chaddha Camp in Jammu.

According to a senior CISF officer, the attack happened around 4:25 AM, while the bus was en-route for the morning shift duties. “CISF averted the attack, retaliated effectively, and made the militants run away,” the senior CISF officer said.

“In the line of action, one Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) of CISF lost his life and two others are injured,” he added.

Meanwhile, the police said they had information that militants were planning an attack in the city. However, it said militants targeted a bus carrying its personnel and an Assistant Sub Inspector was killed.

The attack comes ahead of PM Modi’s arrival in Jammu on Sunday. The presence of militants near a vital military installation in the city is a major security concern ahead of his first political visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the former State’s special status was revoked in August 2019.

PM Modi will address a major rally which will be attended by thousands of Panchayat members at Palli village.

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Ahead of the visit, security has been put on high alert and round-the-clock patrolling is being carried out by security forces to prevent any militant attack across Jammu and Kashmir.

Two slain JeM militants in Jammu encounter were wearing Fidayeen vests: DGP Dilbagh Singh

Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh on Frdiay said that two militants killed in Sunjwan, Jammu encounter were wearing Fidayeen vests and were tasked to carry out a major suicide strike to sabotage the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said both the slain belong to the Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit and were part of a fresh infiltration bid.

Talking to reporters at the site of the encounter, the DGP Singh, as per news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that late last night, acting on information about the presence of militants in Sunjwan area of Jammu, a cordon was laid by the police and CISF personnel. “The militants fired indiscriminately at the security forces in which one ASI of CISF succumbed while four others sustained injuries. The slain ASI of CISF has been identified as S P Patil,” he said.

The DGP Singh said that both the slain Fidayeen are foreigners and they were wearing “Fidayeen vests”. “Both were tasked to either target a security camp or to engage a large number of security forces to inflict maximum causalities,” he said.

The DGP said that it seems that the major aim of the two slain Fidayeen was to sabotage the PM’s upcoming rally at Samba on April 24. “But timely action by our alert forces have foiled the bid,” he said.

He said that from the possession of the slain duo, three AK-47 rifles, grenades, magazines, eatables, medicines, energy drinks etc were recovered, which are normally found with Fidayeen. He said as of now, there are no inputs to suggest that the slain were planning to attack the PM’s upcoming rally at Samba on April 24.

Asked whether there was a possibility of any other militant in the area, the DGP said that as of now, it seems that only two militants were present in the area. “Since they had no old history, it seems they had infiltrated recently just to carry out a big strike,” he said.

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Meanwhile, BJP J&K chief Ravinder Raina while speaking to reporters praised the J&K Police and CISF for killing the two Fidayeen. “The PM’s rally will be held and there will be more participation of people than expected,” he said.

Schools shut, mobile internet snapped in parts of Jammu

Mobile Internet services are partially suspended in parts of Jammu while schools within a 5-km radius of Sunjwan encounter site remain closed today as a precautionary measure in view of the encounter in the city outskirts.

Officials sources told news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that mobile internet was snapped around 5:00 AM in the morning in south of Jammu including the area of Sunjwan, Bathandi, Narwal, Bahu Fort, Malik Market of Bahu Tehsil as a precautionary measure in view of encounter.

They added that some miscreants might misguide or exploit the local population of these areas during Friday prayers because earlier too, these areas witnessed such situations where locals tried to take law in hand.

Officials added that to avoid any mishap or disturbance to forces on the encounter site, telecom operators were asked to suspend the internet services till further order.

Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer, Jammu ordered the closure of schools that come within a five-kilometre radius of the encounter site.

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jodhamal School and Heritage School including Govt HSS Sunjwan, Govt HS Bhatindi, International Delhi Public School Sunjwan, RM Public school Chowadi, Govt HS Chowadi, Doon School, DS Heritage, Birla Open Mind School, British International School, GPS Chowadi remained closed due to the encounter.

Moreover, the civilian movement in Sunjwan and Bathandi area has been restricted with barriers put on the National Highway to halt any type of movement.

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