Four Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists were gunned down by security forces in an encounter near Nagrota Toll Plaza in Jammu and Kashmir early morning on Thursday. The gunbattle started around 5 am near the toll plaza in the Ban area of Nagrota on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. According to Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh, the militants had infiltrated last evening and they were on way to Kashmir along with huge quantity of arms and ammunition to disrupt the coming District Development Council (DDC) polls and panchayat by-elections.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Jammu and Kashmir Police had inputs about the movement of terrorists from Samba sector towards Nagrota Toll Plaza. They were trapped and eliminated.
"This is a JeM group. They infiltrated via Samba sector last night. The terrorists were stopped at the toll plaza, following which they lobbed a grenade. Army and CRPF too joined the operation," the DGP told India TV.
How the encounter unfolded
Mukesh Singh, IG, Jammu Zone, said that during a routine check, a truck was intercepted at 5 am. "Driver of the truck fled. During search, CRPF soldiers and police were fired upon using heavy ammunitions and grenades were also lobbed. More forces were called in & encounter went on for 3 hours," he said.
Singh informed that 11 AK-47 rifles, 3 pistols, 29 grenades and other devices have been recovered from the site of encounter. "It seems they had infiltrated with the intention of doing something big and were headed towards Kashmir valley. Operation is underway," he said.
Singh said that the truck driver is absconding. An operation is underway to locate him, he said.
"It's possible that they were planning a big attack. This kind of seizure is unprecedented. It's possible that they were targeting DDC election. However, we are investigating," the IG said.
Meanwhile, the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway has been closed. No traffic movement was permitted from Nagrota and Udhampur's Tilting area. A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is also expected to arrive at the encounter site soon.
Officials believed that the modus operandi was same as that used in January, 2020, at the same location while a terrorist was hiding in a truck. "That was an infiltration bid wherein 3 terrorists were neutralised," a source said.
Earlier on Wednesday, 12 civilians sustained injuries in a grenade attack by terrorists on a team of security force personnel in Pulwama district. The incident took place in the Kakapora area of Pulwama. Police officials said the grenade missed the intended target and exploded on the road. The area was cordoned off and a hunt launched to nab the attackers.