To be better prepared to combat an attack like the one in Pampore, in which the Army lost three para commandos, including two captains, the Jammu and Kashmir police has started collecting layouts, floor plans and maps of prominent buildings, private shopping malls and top hotels.
There are dozens of private shopping complexes, malls and big hotels dotting different parts of the city. Officials apprehend that the militants might try to take shelter in these complexes after any attack on the security forces.
“We have already collected details of some prominent buildings from their owners,” a police officer told The Indian Express. He said that they had been asked to collect details of private and government buildings in their jurisdiction and maintain a database.
This is the first time security agencies have started collecting such information on city buildings. Police officials mantain that they do not have any specific input about the possibility of any attack, but are still taking caution.
A top government officer told The Indian Express that security agencies were caught off guard when three foreign militants took shelter in the EDI building on city outskirts and gave a tough fight to police and army commandos for 48 hours. Officials said EDI is housed on approximately 10,000 sq ft plinth area. Besides basement, the building has four storeys and a rooftop restaurant. During the Pampore attack, the militants hid at different places in the building and targeted the paratroopers. They were neutralised only when the Army used heavy weapons.
Officials say the militants knew the building well and were at an advantage. “We were at a disadvantage as a proper layout of this multi-storey complex was not with us. We had to seek information from employees and officials and it took time,” said a senior Army officer.