By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 21, Apr 2023, 9:33 am IST | UPDATED: 21, Apr 2023, 9:35 am IST
A high alert has been sounded across Jammu and Kashmir after the Poonch terror attack. Forces have been asked to make no loose movements and stay on high alert. Apart from the Line Of Control (LOC) and International Borders in Jammu, a high alert has also been sounded in south Kashmir's Shopian as well as north Kashmir's Kupwara and Uri sectors so that terrorists can’t exfiltrate back. Sources in the army told Zee News that the terror attack was like a BAT action and it appears that terrorists have infiltrated from across the border. BAT is Pakistan's Border Action Team which carries out cross-border attacks.
They said that in the past, two attacks on the army and civilians were carried out in the same way in Rajouri and Poonch sectors. Meanwhile, Security forces have launched massive Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs) in various villages of the Mendhar sub-division, with senior officers of both the army and police present at the spot. Heavy deployment of forces has been made and many villages including Bhata Dhurian, Nar forest, Sanjiote, and Kotan have been cordoned and intense searches are going on. Patrolling across the IB and LOC has been increased.
After the terror attack, the movement of all kinds of vehicles has been suspended on the national highway stretch between Bhimber Gali and Bhata Dhurian. J&K Police in Poonch district said that in the wake of an incident in Bhata Dhurian, traffic will remain suspended from BG to Surankote road. "All the commuters are advised to adopt alternative routes that include BG Mendhar JWG or Mendhar KG Poonch,” police said.
Sources said that terrorists managed to stop the vehicle while laying ambush and then threw grenades while others used calibrated grenades towards its fuel tank, triggering a massive blaze in the vehicle, due to which the soldiers were not able to react on time. This kind of modus operandi of attack is new to Jammu and Kashmir, and it was earlier seen in the Northeast.
The lesser-known terror group PAFF (People’s Anti-Faces Front) has claimed responsibility on Social media. The attack is aimed at thwarting the upcoming G-20 meeting in Kashmir. Earlier, a Defence PRO said, “At approximately 3 pm on Thursday, one Army vehicle, moving between Bhimber Gali and Poonch in the Rajouri sector was fired on by unidentified terrorists, taking advantage of heavy rains and low visibility in the area. The vehicle caught fire, due to the likely use of grenades by terrorists. Five personnel of the Rashtriya Rifles Unit deployed for Counter Terrorist operations, in this area, have unfortunately lost their lives in the incident. Another seriously injured soldier was evacuated immediately to the Army Hospital at Rajouri and is under treatment. Operations are in progress to locate the perpetrators.
The attack came at a time when Kashmir is going to host G20 meetings in Srinagar. It also comes as a shocker for armed forces as forces are on their toes to make full-proof security arrangements for the event. Last week, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had held a high-level review meeting to take stock of the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in wake of the G20 meetings.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed condolence with brave hearts. “Anguished by the tragedy in Poonch District (J&K), where the Indian Army has lost its brave soldiers after a truck caught fire. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the bereaved families,” said the defence minister in a tweet. Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha also expressed anguish over the loss of lives. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have condemned the attack.