Poonch attack carried out with active local support; steel coated bullets, IED used to blow army vehicle: DGP Dilbagh Singh
Says IED used to blow army vehicle; terrorists got arms, cash supply through drone; arrest of OGW Nisar a vital lead, 12 suspects arrested, over 200 questioned so far; 9 to 12 foreign militants active in Rajouri-Poonch area; identifying natural hide-outs in forest areas to zero-in on attackers
Rajouri, Apr 28 : Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh Friday said that the April 21 attack in Bhata Durian area of Poonch in which five soldiers were killed was carried out with active local support and terrorists had used steel-coated armour-piercing bullets and IEDs to target army vehicle to inflict maximum damage. He said intense search to track the natural hide-outs used by terrorists is being launched and initial investigations suggest that nine to 12 foreign militants may be active in Rajouri-Poonch area, who may have infiltrated recently.
Talking to reporters after taking stock of the ongoing search operations in Darhal area of Rajouri district, DGP Singh, as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that the Poonch attack was carried out with active support of locals. “Such attacks can’t be carried out without local support. The terrorists were provided shelter at one place and then provided transport to carry out the attack at another place. They had done proper recee of the area and despite rain they succeeded to target the army vehicle that was plying with almost zero speed due to blind turn,” the DGP said, adding that “the attackers were knowing the spot and speed of the vehicle.”
The DGP said that the terrorist used steel-coated armour-piercing bullets and IEDs to blow the army vehicle in a bid to inflict maximum damage. “ Same bullets were used in the Dhangri, Rajouri attack. The Pooonch attack was carried out near a forest area. Initial investigations suggest that the terrorists may have used natural hideouts. We are identifying the natural hide-outs that may have been used by the attackers before the attack and intense search operation is on to nab the attackers,” he said. Replying to a query, he said that the group of terrorists involved in the recent attack may be divided into two and their number seems between nine to twelve.
About the local support, he said that the local Nisar Ahmed, a resident of Gursai village, was already in the suspect list of police. “He has been an active OGW of terrorists since 1990. He was questioned several times in the past. This time, after corroborating the evidence, he was found involved in providing logistic and other support to terrorists who carried out the Poonch attack,” the DGP said, adding that Nisar’s family is also involved in providing support to terrorists.
On whether terrorists had got weapons through drones, the DGP said that weapons, grenades and cash was air-dropped by drone and the same was collected by Nisar and his family members. “We are identifying the spot where the drone had dropped the weapons and cash,” he said. He said so far, 200 people were questioned and 12 suspects have been detained. He said with the arrest of Nisar, the investigation has got a direction and vital leads have been received so far—(KNO)