July 19, 2014 1:15:48 pm
The Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab Police launched joint searches in areas of both Kathua and Gurdaspur districts, falling along river Ravi, to find that the suspected terrorists they had been looking for since Thursday were woodcutters from Bani area of Jammu and Kashmir.
An alert was sounded and searches launched in adjoining areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh following reports about the sighting of some armed terrorists in area along river Ravi on Madhopur side in Punjab. However, during joint searches with its Punjab counterpart, the state police during wee hours of Saturday succeeded in tracing out the suspects who, on questioning, turned out to be woodcutters from Bani area of Kathua district.
They had gone to Punjab for job and had been staying in the house of a Gujjar there, said Kathua SP Mohan Lal. However, as they were moving in the forests carrying axes, someone mistook them as terrorists and informed the police leading to alert in adjoining areas of three states.
However, even as the suspects turned out to be local woodcutters, the army school and three Kendriya Vidyalyas in Kathua district were closed this morning. Sources said that the schools were closed as a precautionary measure in view of their being on the target list of terrorists killed by police and security forces during encounters along the Jammu-Pathankote national highway since last year.
Earlier also, though there have been reports about the sighting of terrorists in Kathua district which later could not be substantiated, police are not ready to take chances in view of the terrorists strikes in Kathua and Samba since last year. Three terrorists in army uniform had attacked a SUV killing one of its occupants and injuring three others near Sahar Khad on the Jammu-Kathua national highway before getting killed in an encounter with army troops at Jaglote in March this year.
Six months prior to it, three terrorists in army uniform had in a similar manner attacked Hiranagar police station killing four policemen among six. Later, they attacked an army camp in adjoining Samba district killing four army men including a lieutenant colonel before getting killed by troops.
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