CHANDIGARH: In a Fidayeen attack on Monday morning, terrorists in army uniforms resorted to indiscriminate firing in Dinanagar town in Gurdaspur district of Punjab bordering Jammu and Kashmir, leaving at least nine dead.
Those killed included an SP, two Punjab Police home guards and three civilians and the three terrorists. About 15 people were injured. All three terrorists were killed by the police in the encounter, which lasted for 12 hours.
The mayhem started around 5 am when the attackers first targeted a tempo at Parmanand village between Pathankot and Dinanagar but missed their target. Just 1 km short of the town, at a roadside eatery (Dhaba), they inflicted injuries on the owner, who had been asleep, and sped away in his Maruti 800 car. They drove to the town and opened fire on a bus headed for Jammu, in which four passengers were injured. A vendor, Amarjit Singh, who was at the bus station, was killed. The trio then stormed a police station. They also targeted a community health centre adjacent to the Dinanagar police station, in which a policeman and two civilians, including a woman were killed.
The militants then moved from the police station to another building in the police complex, where they traded fire with security forces for hours.
The assailants also threw grenades and fired towards Kiran hospital. The security forces used two helicopters for assistance. Continuous sound of firing and exploding grenades could be heard hours after the first shots were fired by the militants.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police sent their bullet proof vehicles for assistance. Around seven sharpshooters were deployed in an armoured vehicle to take out the terrorists. Also, a 35-member SWAT was sent to Dinanagar along with two DIG-level officers.
The operation ended around 5 pm, after forces had neutralised all the terrorists.
A policeman said that they had heard terrorists shout ‘Allah hu Akbar’. Weapons and a GPS equipment were recovered from the building where the terrorists were holed up. Punjab Police DGP Sumedh Singh Saini reached the spot and supervised the operation, which had not been handed over to the army. It is suspected that the terrorists came from Pakistan and infiltrated from adjoining Hiranagar in Jammu and entered Punjab. They are thought to be from LeT or JeM outfits.
Live bombs On rly track
Five live bombs were found on the Pathankot-Gurdaspur railway track near the encounter site. The bombs were found by passersby on a bridge near Parmanand railway station and were defused by the bomb squad.
Badal Blames Centre for Lapse
The political blame game started in the State after the terror attack. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that if the Centre had any intelligence input, the border should have been completely sealed. While Congress and AAP blamed both State and Centre, the BJP blamed the intelligence wing of State police. Badal said that to check such terror attacks, the security at the borders should be completely beefed up by the Centre. He said that the borders should be sealed in an effective manner so as to check infiltration by terrorist groups from across the border.
5 AM Militants inflict injuries on owner of roadside Dhaba about 1 km from Dinanagar, steal his vehicle and drive to the town
Hit police station
5.30 AM Terrorists open fire on a bus headed for Jammu and storm police station, open fire on the community health centre
2 PM Move to a building adjacent to police station, firing and throwing grenades. Security forces return fire, close in
5 PM Area cordoned off, security forces return fire, take down all three terrorists. Army was not called in for handling the militants