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Samba terrorists had planned to storm Army Public School,take children hostage

Army Public School is located right next to the base camp of 16th Cavalry of Indian Army.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh | Published: October 4, 2013 3:39:33 am

The three terrorists behind the twin attacks in Jammu on September 26 also had plans to storm the Army Public School on the Jammu-Pathankot National Highway and,possibly,take schoolchildren hostage.

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Police sources said that the terrorists asked Aarif,the driver of the truck they seized at the Hiranagar police station — where they killed four police personnel — to drive them,at gunpoint,to Army Public School in Kathua.

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The terrorists were equipped with a GPS device but,sources said,it didn’t detect the school’s location. “Maybe their connection dropped in that area,” a police officer said.

The driver,sources said,“sensed” their intention — to storm the school — and is said to have tried to mislead them saying he didn’t know where the school was.

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Police sources said the terrorists,who had killed the truck’s cleaner,let the driver off and left the truck barely a kilometre from the 16th Cavalry Army camp in Samba which they then stormed.

Samba terrorists had planned to storm Army Public School,take children hostageand three injured in the twin-terror attack.

What lends credence to this,police sources said,is the fact that the Army recovered bottles of US-manufactured liquid multi-vitamins,handcuffs,iron chains and dry-fruits that could have kept the terrorists without food for “at least two to three weeks.” All three terrorists were wearing the same brand — Adidas — shoes made in Dubai.

Incidentally,before they reached the police station,the terrorists had stopped at the government Girdhari Lal Dogra Memorial Degree College,barely 200 m from the police station.

They had also asked Roshan Lal,the auto rickshaw driver,to take them to a school in Hiranagar. When contacted,Roshan Lal told The Indian Express: “They wanted me to take them to school. I took them to a college near Hiranagar police station but it had not opened by that time. So we turned back and they asked me to stop near Hiranagar police station”.

“Whatever information was there,I have already shared it with the media. There’s no more information we can divulge,” said Rajesh Kumar,Inspector General of Police,Jammu. Asked about Army Public School being their target,Kumar declined to comment.

He confirmed to The Indian Express that multivitamins,dry-fruits and some iron chains were recovered from the possession of the three terrorists.

The Army Public School is located right next to the base camp of 16th Cavalry of Indian Army. The terrorists entered from the first gate of the base camp on Hiranagar-Jammu stretch on Pathankot-Jammu national highway. The Army Public School is around two kilometres away from that gate.

Immediately after the twin attacks in Jammu,the Army Public School was the first installation to be guarded by the state police force. Security has been since strengthened around the school.

All three terrorists were buried after their blood and DNA samples were taken. Various intelligence agencies have already questioned the truck-driver.

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