NIA takes over investigation in Poonch attack case

JAMMU — Day after the terrorist attack in Poonch that killed five Army personnel and injured one, the National Investigative Agency (NIA) took over the investigation of the case and visited the spot while the Director General Border Security Force reviewed the security situation.

Meanwhile, a massive manhunt has been launched to nab the terrorists in the dense forest area of Bata-Doriya area of Bhimber Gali, Poonch.

Official sources said, a team of NIA led by Deputy Inspector General and Superintendent of Police rank officers visited the spot along with a team of forensic experts to collect initial details and possible evidence.

A Bomb Disposal Squad, Sniffer Dogs of Dog Unit and Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police also reached the spot where five soldiers lost their lives in the terror attack. The security forces also used drones for search and surveillance in the Bata-Doriya area to track the terrorists who attacked an Army vehicle.

The incident occurred after an Army vehicle they were travelling in was fired upon by terrorists in the Rajouri sector in Jammu leading to the death of five soldiers, and injuring another.

Meanwhile, Director General of Border Security Force, Dr S L Thaosen arrived at Frontier Headquarters BSF Jammu to review the security scenario of Jammu International Border.

He was welcomed by P V Rama Sastry, IPS, ADG (Western Command), D K Boora, IG, BSF Jammu & other officers.

A BSF spokesperson informed that IG Jammu D K Boora gave a detailed presentation to the DG and apprised about all the critical aspects of Border Security and Domination on Jammu International Border & Line of Control in wake of recent incident in Mendhar.

“IG Jammu described the general security scenario of Area of Responsibility (AOR) covering the deployment pattern of BSF Battalions and their robust domination aspects on the complete Jammu IB,” the spokesperson said.

DG BSF briefed the field commanders about recent threats being faced by the BSF on LC and Jammu IB. A special emphasis was given to the domination of LC and IB due to recent incidents in the Jammu and Rajouri area.

Moreover, a high alert has been issued for border districts Rajouri and Poonch, with close monitoring along the Line of Control.

Traffic on the Bhimber Gali-Poonch road has been halted, and people are being advised to take an alternative route through Mendhar.

According to the Army, soldiers from a Rashtriya Rifles unit on counter-terror operations were killed in the attack, with their vehicle catching fire after coming under unidentified terrorist gunfire.

The army also laid wreath of deceased soldiers, who have been identified as Havildar Mandeep Singh of Village Chankoian Kacan, Tehsil Payac, Ludhiana, Sepoy Harkrishan Singh of Village Talwandi Barth, Tehsil Batala, Lance Naik Kulwant Singh of Village Charik, Tehsil Moga, Sepoy Sewak Singh of village Bagha, Tehsil Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda and Lance Naik Debashish of Village Algum Samil Khandayat, Tehsil Satyabadi, Puri, Orissa.

The officials were attached with the army’s Rashtriya Rifles unit and were deployed for counterterrorist operations in the area.

“A wreath laying ceremony was organised at Rajouri with full Military traditions to pay homage to the supreme sacrifice of the five Bravehearts of Indian Army who laid down their life in the line of duty,” a defence spokesperson said.

Political parties have condemned the attack, and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal staged a demonstration on the Tawi bridge in Jammu City, chanting anti-Pakistan slogans. — (KNO)