CHANDIGARH: Despite an alert by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) ten days ago, three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants are believed to have crossed 17 checkpoints in Punjab en route to Jammu & Kashmir where they were arrested on Thursday along with arms and ammunition at Lakhanpur in Kathua district.
The Punjab Police has launched a probe to find out whether these terrorists travelled through the state. Sources said the state police has formed two teams which are investigating the whole route from Amritsar to Pathankot. An IGP level officer has been assigned to look into the matter. A team of IB officials has also reached Amritsar.
It is learnt that the truck bearing registration number (JK-13-E-2000) registered in Pulwama which was intercepted by the J&K Police had started from Amritsar.
There were 17 police checkpoints from Amritsar to Pathankot (13 big and four small checkpoints), all of which had CCTVs. The probe teams are looking into the footage of all these CCTVs. Seven people have already been questioned by the police.
The arms and ammunition were found hidden in a bag inside the truck’s cabin and this consignment was given to them by their Pakistani handler reportedly based in Batala town of Punjab.
Sources said Special Operations Cell officials in the state had joined the investigation at Kathua to ascertain the route taken by the terrorists. The BSF is of the view that this arms and ammunitions consignment may have made its way from Pakistan to Punjab and then to J&K.
After the BSF, the second line of defence along the border is the Punjab Police. There are several barricades in the border districts of Gurdaspur and Pathankot as terrorist attacks had taken place at the Pathankot Air Base and Dinanagar police station.