NIA to probe 2023 Poonch militant attack case

NEW DELHI — The National Investigation Agency will probe last year’s militant attack on an Army convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch that left five personnel dead, officials said on Tuesday.

The process to take over the investigation into the matter has started and a case will be registered soon, they said.

The probe will ascertain any “common angle” in last year’s attack with the recent militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, the officials said, adding the involvement of Pakistan-based handlers in the case cannot be ruled out.

Five Army personnel lost their lives and another was seriously injured after their vehicle caught fire following a militant attack on April 20, 2023, in the Bhata Dhurian area under Poonch district.

The Army had said the vehicle carrying soldiers came under fire from unidentified militants and it caught fire because of the likely use of grenades. The victims of the attack were from a Rashtriya Rifles unit deployed for counter-militancy operations.

The NIA on Tuesday dispatched a team of its officers to assist the Jammu and Kashmir police in its probe into the militant attack on an Army convoy in Kathua that occurred on Monday.

Five Army personnel, including a junior commissioned officer, were killed, and as many were injured when a group of heavily armed militants ambushed a patrolling party on the rugged Machedi-Kindli-Malhar mountainous road near the Badnota village in Lohai Malhar, approximately 150 km from the Kathua district’s headquarters.

It was the fifth militant attack in the Jammu region within a month. — (PTI)