One official was killed and four others injured after a fierce gun battle erupted between security forces and terrorists near an army installation at Sunjwan in Jammu on Friday, 22 April, officials said. Two terrorists were also killed in the encounter.
This comes just two days ahead of a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the region.
The encounter started after an input was received about the presence of terrorists in Sunjwan. The police said they had information that terrorists were planning an attack in the city.
As the security forces zeroed in at the spot where the terrorists were hiding, they came under a heavy volume of fire that triggered the encounter. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said terrorists targeted a bus carrying its personnel and an assistant sub-inspector was killed.
Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Singh said that the operation was still underway.
"A total of two terrorists were neutralised in an encounter that broke out in near Jammu's Sunjwan area. Till now, 2 terrorists have been killed, 2 AK-47 rifles, arms & ammunition, satellite phones and some documents were recovered. It seems like they were 'Fidayeen' attackers. Operation is underway," he said, as per ANI.
The Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir paid his respects to the CISF ASI SP Patel, who lost his life in the encounter.
"I salute India’s brave son and CISF's ASI SP Patel, who made the supreme sacrifice while fighting terrorists at Sunjwan, Jammu. His gallant deeds will never be forgotten. We stand in solidarity with his bereaved family," the LG's office stated in a press release.
Officials Pay Last Respects to CISF ASI
CISF and police officials also paid last respects to CISF ASI SP Patel.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh said the attack was to sabotage PM Modi's visit to the region. "2 terrorists of JeM suicide squad trained to harm security forces installation were killed in the operation. The two Pak terrorists were wearing suicide vests. This is part of a larger conspiracy to disturb peace in Jammu and sabotage the PM's visit to the region."
Later in the day Dr Anil Pandey, DIG Operations, CISF, said:
"Our 13 companies are deployed in law & order support duty across J&K. CISF was deployed in the outer cordon where a search operation was underway. Today, a terrorist attack took place when CISF personnel were boarding the bus near Chhadha Camp."
"The search operation in the Sunjwan area was based on an intelligence input that fidayeen terrorists of JeM were active in the area and could attack the security forces," he added.
More About the Attack
The CISF informed that the bus carrying 15 of its personnel going for morning shift duties was attacked by terrorists at about 4.25 am near Chaddha Camp in Jammu.
"CISF averted the terrorist attack, retaliated effectively, and forced the terrorists to run away," a senior officer of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said, as per ANI. "In the line of action one ASI of CISF has lost his life."
Meanwhile, Dilbag Singh further said, "Two terrorists have been killed in the Sunjwan encounter. Terrorists holed up at Sunjwan were planning a major attack. The aim was to inflict maximum casualties on security forces," Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh told NDTV.
Earlier, Mukesh Singh told reporters:
"One security force personnel has been martyred. It seems the terrorists are hiding inside a house. After first light a thorough search will be conducted."
According to sources, both the terrorists were believed to be foreigners belonging to Jaish outfit.
About PM Modi's Visit
Friday's encounter comes as the security forces are on alert over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to J&K.
The prime minister is scheduled to visit the Palli village Panchayat in Samba district on Sunday, 24 April, to attend the Panchayat Raj Diwas.
This will be Modi's first visit after Article 370 was abrogated in August 2019 in the erstwhile state.
(With inputs from ANI, NDTV and IANS.)