September 28, 2013 2:33:18 am
The terrorists who killed 10 people including a lieutenant colonel of the Army in Jammu on Thursday crossed into India through a nullah near Hariya chak village and travelled at least 38 kilometres before they were gunned down. According to the auto-rickshaw driver who brought them to Hiranagar,the terrorists used GPS devices and mobile phones to navigate.
On the way,the three men who dodged checkposts manned by the BSF while crossing the international border went past five J&K Police checkpoints,including the headquarters of the SDPO,Chadwal,Kathua district (also called SDPO,Border),before they went on their shooting spree in Hiranagar.
The international border in Paharpur village is fenced,but parts of it are porous because of a nullah that flows into Pakistani territory. The nullah is not fenced. Pakistani posts and watchtowers are clearly visible from BSF perches.
Villagers told The Indian Express that the nullah had been used by terrorists earlier too. In 2002,terrorists killed seven bus passengers in Hiranagar before being shot not far from the police station they attacked on Thursday. On Friday,the BSF was not allowing anyone to go close to the international border.
The auto driver,Roshan Lal,had been stopped near a village nursery barely 50 metres from the Hariya Chak police post. While travelling,they kept asking me which police posts we were crossing. They asked me to take them to the national highway. When I protested,one of them hit me with a rifle butt, Roshan Lal told The Indian Express.
They asked me to take them to the CRPF camp in Hiranagar. But on the way,they asked me to stop near Hiranagar police station. One of them asked me my name,and then shot me thrice. Then they started firing in all directions and shouting Pakistan zindabad slogans, Lal,who is in hospital,said. They were using GPS devices and telling me where to turn. One of them had a device on which images that looked like maps kept emerging. One of them had a mobile phone and appeared to be sending a text message.
From Hiranagar police station,the terrorists went to the Army base camp at Samba,and entered through the Officers Mess gate on the highway. J&K Police sources who interrogated Arif,the driver of the truck in which they travelled,said the terrorists target appeared to have been the Army School at Samba,but Arif did not know the way. They spotted the Army camp on the way.
During the 38-km ride,the terrorists travelled at least 17 km on the Pathankot-Jammu national highway. On Friday,it took The Indian Express over an hour to travel this distance. An auto and a truck the vehicles the terrorists used were likely to have taken longer.
The 15-km stretch from Hiranagar police station to the Samba camp which the terrorists covered on a truck took about 25 minutes.
Not one but five police posts were crossed and nobody got a whiff. After attacking Hiranagar police station,they must have taken at least 30 minutes to reach Samba. Yet,no alert was sounded by the police or anybody else. This is a failure of the state police force, Rakesh Chaudhary,Hariya chak village sarpanch,said.
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