JAMMU: Inspector-General of Police Mukesh Singh made every attempt to secure the surrender of four heavily-armed suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists before they were killed in a fierce gunbattle on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway early on Thursday, officials said.
They said the attempts for their surrender were to understand the nefarious designs of Pakistan-based terror group JeM.
A short video clip, showing the IGP, Jammu, making appeals to the terrorists to lay down their arms, had gone viral on social media, hours after the encounter that took place near Ban Toll Plaza on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, ended.
The four JeM terrorists, believed to be Pakistani nationals, were confronted when they were intercepted by alert security personnel at a checkpoint on the highway around 5 am.
The encounter comes barely days ahead of the maiden District Development Council (DDC) polls, which are slated to be held in eight phases along with the bypolls to panchayat and Urban Local Bodies on November 28.
Besides a huge cache of arms and ammunition, including 11 AK assault rifles, three pistols, 29 grenades and six UBGL grenades, the security forces also recovered a large quantity of Pakistan-made medicines and Indian currency from the possession of the slain terrorists, who had come to execute a "big plan" ahead of the DDC polls in Jammu and Kashmir, the officials said.
In the 25-second video clip, the IGP is heard repeatedly making announcements asking the trapped terrorists to come out and surrender.
"Whosoever is hiding inside the truck, leave the weapon and come out with raised hands.
No harm will be caused to you," Singh was heard saying in Urdu.
A police official said the IGP, who reached the scene to supervise the operation, directed for action after there was no response to his call from the terrorists hiding inside the vehicle.
The truck was destroyed in the encounter, but its driver managed to flee shortly after it was stopped for checking.
This was the second major encounter near Ban Toll Plaza this year.
Earlier in January this year, three Pakistani JeM terrorists were killed while three of their Kashmiri associates were arrested after security forces intercepted a Srinagar-bound truck - the modus operandi remained the same.
The Pak-made medicines seized from the encounter site included diclofenac sodium injections, paracetamol and metronidazole tables, disposable syringes and some Unani medicines manufactured in Karachi, Lahore and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Meanwhile, a team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) inspected the scene of the encounter and are likely to take over the case, the officials said.