Before they were killed by security forces in Poonch Tuesday, the two terrorists tried to destroy everything that could reveal their identity or place of origin.
After the three-day encounter at the Mini Secretariat ended — the longest in Poonch town so far — police and security forces found some burnt material along with AK rifles and ammunition. The burnt material included communication equipment used by the terrorists which, sources claimed, was used to talk to their contacts in Pakistan.
Most of the markings on the AK rifles have been erased, police officials said. Except for three-four damaged chocolate packets, manufactured by companies either in Pakistan or South Africa, nothing substantial was recovered from the terrorists, police said.
“We are trying to find what they burnt,” said Poonch SP J S Johar. “Burning and destroying evidence is one way to ensure they are not tracked… But we will look into it to track their origin.”
Four terrorists had on Sunday attacked Poonch town at two locations — Joginder Palace and a private building next to Army’s Brigade headquarters, and an under-construction Mini Secretariat complex adjacent to the office of the district police chief.
At Joginder Palace, where both terrorist were killed within 24 hours, police and security forces seized a GPS and a map. The GPS has been sent to Delhi to ascertain the route taken by terrorists to reach Poonch. Sources said the map shows Poonch town and its surroundings. The remaining two terrorists were killed on Tuesday.
Police sources said the possibility of terrorists being helped by locals cannot be ruled out. “They managed to reach so close to the Brigade headquarters and the office of the district police chief; they could not come this close even during peak militancy in the district in the 1990s,” an officer said.
General officer commanding (GOC) of the 16 Corps, Lt General R R Nimborkar, said all four terrorists were members of a suicide squad of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and had come from across the Line of Control.