Three terrorists in army uniform attacked a SUV killing one of its occupant and injuring three others on the Jammu-Kathua national highway. The terrorists hijacked the vehicle, along with its driver, and drove off towards Kathua where they attacked an army camp at Janglote injuring a jawan.
Two terrorists were killed in the encounter and police are engaging the third terrorist in a gun battle. The Jammu-Pathankote national highway was closed for vehicular traffic as a precautionary measure.
Sources said that the terrorists had left the hijacked vehicle in nearby Sahar Khud before attacking the army’s Artillery Regiment. While senior police and security forces officials have rushed to the spot, army helicopters too have been pressed into service to find out the exact location of terrorists. The area is now cordoned off.
The abandoned vehicle was seized, its driver has been not been traced so far. He appears to be still in captivity of the terrorists.
The deceased has been identified as Jeeta of Vijaypur, sources said that the injured included Gurpreet Singh,Sahib Singh and Kamaljeet Singh – all residents of Gurdaspur in neighbouring Punjab, and working as sewadars (painters) with Radaha Swami Satsang Beas. While the injured have been shifted to Government Medical College Hospital at Jammu, driver Tarseem of R S Pura is suspected to be in the captivity of terrorists.
The terrorists were intercepted at Janglote near Kathua and a gun battle ensued. Security forces at nearby areas have been put on high alert as the area falls in close proximity of the international border.
Though no terrorist outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack, Lashkar-e-Toiba is suspected to be behind it.
According to sources, the Radha Swami Satsang Beas sewadars had hired the vehicle from Vijaypur and they were on way to Dera Baba Beas in Punjab. However, three terrorists in army uniform signaled the vehicle to stop at Dayala Chak.
As the unsuspecting driver responded, they asked the occupants to come out except the driver. Before anybody could understand anything, they immediately opened fire killing one and injuring three others. Thereafter, they fled towards Kathua in the same vehicle.
The terrorists were spotted after nearly an hour at Janglote where an encounter is in progress.
The terrorists attack on the busy Jammu-Kathua national highway has exposed the claims of state government about security measures for smooth conduct of the Lok Sabha polls, especially in the light of reports that terrorists will try to derail the electoral process.
The attack came six months after three terrorists in army uniform, had in a similar manner, attacked the nearby Hiranagar police station killing four policemen among six, and later four army men including a lieutenant colonel at an army camp in Samba.